Collaboration: Transforming the Concept to Practice in Missouri Judicial Circuits
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In fiscal year 2006, the Missouri Department of Social Services, Children's Division (CD) and the Office of State Courts Administrator (OSCA) decided to partner again. The two agencies decided to offer a training opportunity specifically tailored to meet the team building needs of child welfare teams. After reviewing possible curriculums from a number of organizations, the educational team (composed of representatives from CD and OSCA) selected the “Collaboration: A Training Curriculum to Enhance the Effectiveness of Criminal Justice Teams” from the State Justice Institute to provide the training necessary to address the issues facing Missouri's child welfare teams. The Collaboration curriculum recognizes the diverse roles and purposes present on criminal justice teams and seeks to promote a better working environment by accepting those differences and moving forward to a common goal. In the case of child welfare teams, this goal is to meet the best interests of the child. By focusing on the common goal and not their differences, a child welfare team can learn to collaborate rather than cooperate. The outcomes for the child can be improved, as a result of this enhanced team functioning. The Collaboration curriculum also met other goals identified by the educational development team. The curriculum encourages small teams working in a neutral location and combines education with group exercises designed to enable groups to identify common goals, clarify responsibilities, and develop action plans for the future. This assessment of the Collaboration Workshop, conducted by the Children's Division and the Office of State Courts Administrator, is divided into four major sections. The first section details how circuit teams were selected and facilitators were trained. The next section focuses on the Collaboration Workshop through the use of facilitator observations and participant evaluations. The third section analyzes the results of the post-conference assessment and the report concludes with recommendations for future Collaboration Workshops.
Stokes, S. D. & Sanders, B. (2006). Collaboration: Transforming the Concept to Practice in Missouri's Judicial Circuits. Report 7-2006. Retrieved 09-21-09 from University of Missouri Columbia, Institute of Public Policy Web site: http://www.truman.missouri.edu/ipp/
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