Established as a means of addressing a specific legislative initiative, "For the Common Good" has also responded to the national trend of collaborative linkages as a strategy for implementing systemic change. During the past 30 years, social, demographic, and economic changes have reshaped families, communities, and schools. These transformations mean that families, communities, and schools must create new ways of supporting and nurturing education and lifelong learning. A positive result of the changes in society has been the recognition and acknowledgement of the interrelationships among the home, schools, and community as well as among public and private enterprises. However, the current system of delivering services has been structured within discrete categorical boundaries, usually related to professional disciplines and bureaucratic needs. This costly fragmentation within the service delivery system has created a call for collaboration among agencies and within communities to reach goals that cannot be achieved by operating in isolation.
Like many other "good ideas," successful local interagency collaboration is not easily achieved. It takes time and energy and requires leadership and commitment on the part of the agencies involved. In terms of current and future funding sources, the handwriting is clearly on the wall. Funders expect collaborative efforts not only because such coalitions stretch resources, but also because they produce better results. The local interagency teams formed through the Common Good project are making remarkable progress in developing integrated services with a client-centered focus. Clearly, they are well positioned in the current environment that calls for interagency collaboration to provide client-centered, integrated service delivery.
Originally published in 1992, this guide was produced to assist local communities in developing effective collaborative interagency linkage teams. Its development grew out of the early experiences of the project, "For the Common Good: Building Linkages for At-Risk Youth and Adults in Ohio." Because the process described in the guide has proven to be so successful, the publication has been revised to update the sections on resources for further information and the project's progress in Ohio.
Susan Imel, Project Director, revised the publication. Sandra Kerka, Program Associate, edited the manuscript, and Janet Ray served as word processor operator.
Prior to publication, the guide revision was reviewed by Jeffrey Gove, ABLE/JOBS Supervisor, Ohio Department of Education and facilitator of the Common Good State Linkage Team.
Ray D. Ryan
Center on Education and Training for Employment
The Ohio State University