Better Outcomes for Babies: Key Practices of Cross-System Collaboration

January 8, 2019
This guide summarizes learnings from four state cross-system collaborative initiatives focused on supporting infants, toddlers, and their families.
man and woman holding infant

States achieve better outcomes for infants, toddlers, and families when they work collaboratively across systems and when services are coordinated and connected. Cross-sector work is not easy. It can involve challenges such as getting leadership from different state agencies to come to agreement on a unified model and ensuring that staff from multiple agencies are speaking the same language. Although Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington pursued different goals, their experiences illustrate some key practices that are important to successful cross-system collaboration efforts.

Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington are just a sample of the states that have designed cross-system collaboration efforts for infants, young children, and families. While the focus of these efforts differs from state to state, there are key practices that have contributed to their success and can be replicated in other states.

Key Practices of Cross-System Collaboration

  • Design and implementation
  • Leadership
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Workforce
  • Funding
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