ERFSC serves as a community hub by identifying resources that residents and consumers can utilize. Referrals are not only made to a resource; the staff follows up to ensure that the services are provided. We provide referrals to a number of agencies and organizations including Neighborhood Legal Services, Unity Health, UDC and Crawford Mental Health.
In discussing what services the Collaboratives should provide and what services we should not provide, we must first discuss who the Collaboratives are. As a hybrid agency, the Collaboratives offer direct services while simultaneously serving as a community hub. Through the support of CFSA and the federal IVE waiver, the Collaboratives have been fortunate enough to leverage their experience and grassroots base to more purposely serve and engage the community. The programs initiated through the IVE Waiver allow the Collaboratives, CFSA, community partners, residents and families to engage with one another in a unique way, shifting the focus from programming to actual family and/or community need.
The Collaboratives work is through four areas: 1) Case Management and other supports to families, youth and seniors; 2) Referrals and Linkages; 3) Capacity Building and Technical Assistance and 4) Network and Coordination of Community Based Resources.
Everyone is familiar with our direct services (case management model; but appear unclear with our role in addressing Referrals and Linkages (aka I&R’s). The article written by the Young Women’s Project indicates that I&R’s (aka Referrals and Linkages) should not be paid for; however, we disagree and have assessed this process as a crucial tool in addressing the often complex needs of our families. The Collaboratives are not intended to provide all of the services families need but should be familiar with the resources in the community so that we are able to refer and link families to those resources.
For over two years, CFSA has spent considerable time in developing the Collaboratives into a Community Hub…a one stop shop of sorts. We identified resources and identified service gaps. We co-located partners with us and identified partners to provide services to our families. These are the partners that many of our families are referred to and linked with. Many of us hold monthly networking meetings with our partners so that everyone is informed of events taking place in our communities.
The Collaboratives also provide capacity building and technical assistance to our partners. Our goal is to ensure that other community stakeholders can do the work that we can’t do or to share the work. We provide mini-grants and offer other technical assistance such as training to our partners to assist them in understanding the tireless commitment, dedication and investment, which are required to support, undergirt, and assist in the sustained healing and thriving of our communities and their families.
The Collaborative movement began with a belief that families needed support in order to preserve their dignity, culture, and family. This belief remains the core of the movement today. As a Hub within the communities we serve, we each possess an individuality, which supports the specific needs of the communities, while celebrating our own uniqueness. Our goals are woven throughout each mission statement and practiced consistently. It is the requirement of the Collaborative to conduct itself with the highest degree of integrity and honesty in all of its interactions. This is a responsibility that we share as a Collaborative movement. We owe this duty not only to each community member, but also to our staff, and funders, which also represents the interests of all citizens.
Honesty and fair dealing are the hallmark of each Collaborative, inherited from those who have come before us and stands firm on sacred trust and commitment to families that we must leave to those who will follow. Every member of the Collaborative is expected to treat each other and members of the community served with courtesy, professionalism, and civility. We remain unyielding in this belief and commitment.
Research conducted through a lens, which supports the movement is designed to identify, explore, obtain, assess, and interpret. As a movement, we shall not be expected to defend the years of commitment, minimize the countless lives improved, or ignore the dedication to those often who view themselves as voiceless. The Collaboratives are and shall remain a Hub for the people we serve collectively and tirelessly…