Today’s human service workplace is demanding, and agencies that use creative approaches that ensure the best use of their budgets and collaboration are fast becoming the answer. Collaborative efforts are used in both for-profit and nonprofit industries, guaranteeing clients receive the best services possible-including services that are timelier and more cost effective for all involved.
For the human service industry, it’s becoming evident that it isn’t efficient to serve numerous clients-and sometimes the same clients-with several separate, independently run programs from numerous agencies, thereby creating a duplication of efforts.
Several examples of collaboration are taking place throughout our community. Here are a few highlights from agencies saving dollars by working together:
- The Hult Health Education Center works with Crittenton Centers, Catholic Charities, Boys and Girls Clubs of Peoria, and Counseling and Family Services, sharing a grant for teen pregnancy and prevention education.
- Friendship House and Neighborhood House share summer camp facilities and transportation and most recently have developed plans to share an accountant.
- Prairie State Legal Services and Counseling and Family Services collaborate on a daily basis to bring legal services to low-income families.
- The Children’s Home collaborates with several public schools to provide family training through their Hand-in-Hand program.
- More than 10 United Way agencies work with the University of Illinois’ nutrition education program to provide their clients with snacks and nutrition education.
- The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts collaborate with other agencies and public schools to ensure scouting troops are available in all neighborhoods.
- Planned Parenthood and White Middle School work together on an after school program that provides a variety of creative activities for the students.
- Tazwood Mental Health Center collaborates with several schools in the area by providing substance abuse prevention.
- The YWCA and Citylink have one of the most visible collabora-tions by providing childcare to the many customers who utilize public transportation through Citylink’s new downtown transfer station.
While these are just a few of the collaborations taking place throughout central Illinois, finding new ways to deliver services is on the forefront as our agencies face the challenges of serving more clients with diminishing resources. By working together, agencies are creating ways to increase their efficiency, save dollars in their operational budgets, and enhance client services. IBI