|Abstract or Summary
- Using Richard Matland’s ambiguity/conflict model of policy implementation, this research examines the connections that agencies and organizations in one rural county, Klamath, and one urban county, Multnomah, in Oregon utilize to implement a particular state policy. The policy being examined is ORS 418.746-800, which mandates the use of Multidisciplinary Teams (MDT) to investigate child abuse and neglect. Through conducting qualitative interviews with representatives from MDT agencies and their community partners, this research finds that the structure and function of MDT in each county is different, as are the perceptions of service providers regarding their connection with community partners. Providers in Multnomah County focus primarily on their formalized networks and those in Klamath on their personal relationships. The difference in connection appears to be associated with the availability of community and financial resources in the county, and is reflected in current service community priorities. High levels of policy ambiguity and low levels of conflict between providers clearly indicate that this state-level policy functions under an Experimental Implementation paradigm, as outlined by Matland (1995). Further, this paradigm provides sufficient flexibility in policy implementation so that each county is able to play to its individual strengths and work to overcome potential weakness, which ultimately appears to make up for potential policy gaps when looking across this rural and urban county.