School-community collaboration as a strategy for meeting the needs of at-risk youth : a case study of selected youth services teams Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vt150m60g

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  • The purpose of this study was to explore and describe the nature of local school-community human service agency collaboration undertaken to address the needs of at-risk youth. The study focused on the experience of four youth services teams in two Oregon counties. A qualitative, multiple-case study approach was used as the research design. Inquiry was guided by four questions: 1) Why and how was the collaboration initiated?, 2) What is the structure of the collaboration?, 3) What are the characteristics of the process?, and 4) What are the outcomes of the process? Data were collected through interviewing, observation, and document review. The analysis of the data proceeded inductively using a content analysis strategy. Based on a preponderance of evidence, conclusions were drawn. They included: 1. Collaboration became a viable response strategy when organizations realized that unilateral solutions were ineffective. 2. Organizational support for collaboration at. both the administrative and staff level was important. 3. The conveners of the collaboration exercised informal rather than formal authority. 4. In-kind contributions of a limited nature constituted the resource base of the collaboration. 5. Attention was paid to facilitating the process of collaboration itself. 6. Leadership of the collaboration rested primarily with the education sector. 7. While the broad vision of the collaboration was embraced by all members, at a more personal level the vision was translated into differing objectives. 8. Both direct and indirect benefits sustained members' commitment to the collaboration. 9. Generally, parent involvement was felt to be integral to the success of the collaborative effort. 10. The issue of confidentiality was addressed. 11. Collaboration resulted in improved communication among schools and agencies, but the increased understanding was largely confined to team members. 12. Collaboration appeared to facilitate access to services and service delivery for some at-risk students; however, limited documentation made it difficult to assess the team's impact on student outcomes.
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