Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations Through Consultation and
Technical Assistance

Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations Through Consultation and Technical Assistance

Patricia Stone Motes
Peg McCartt Hess
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 232
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  • Book Info
    Collaborating with Community-Based Organizations Through Consultation and Technical Assistance
    Book Description:

    Community groups and human service organizations are under a tremendous amount of pressure to strengthen their programs and measure the effectiveness of their work. These challenges have prompted many to seek consultation and technical assistance in order to better plan, develop, and evaluate their services and resources and be more responsive to the needs of funders and the community.

    In this volume, practitioners and researchers present methods and strategies for assisting and collaborating with groups and agencies serving families. Helping a community or organization involves many tasks (reaching out to the community, building leadership, developing and planning for action) and requires specialized knowledge and skills. Contributors combine a research-based, theoretical framework with practical guidance to explain this process and offer cross-cultural case studies in a wide range of settings.

    The book begins with a discussion of the role of the coach or capacity-building consultant and the related but distinct activities of consultation, technical assistance, and service. The value of empowerment theory, adult learning theory, and change theory, among other theories, are outlined. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of cultural competence-the need to balance diverse needs, ethical mandates, and dilemmas is crucial. The book concludes with a detailed, step-by-step guide for helping an agency or program perform a self-evaluation.

    Skilled consultation and assistance enable organizations to better support and strengthen families. While this book is grounded in research, it also reflects the lived experiences of each contributor and illuminates the complex yet vital role of the consultant.

    eISBN: 978-0-231-50285-6
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-xii)
    Patricia Stone Motes and Peg McCartt Hess
  6. Introduction
    (pp. xiii-xxii)

    Communities and human service organizations can greatly support and strengthen the lives of families; however, they are often challenged in meeting these important tasks. During the past three decades, several developments have affected how communities and organizations are addressing this challenge. First, there has been a shift of focus from the individual to an ecological perspective, including attention to families, schools, neighborhoods, and other systems affecting individuals. This change in emphasis highlights an increased awareness of the importance of the family and other systems for an individual’s development and functioning. The results are reciprocal in that positive influences from families...

  7. Chapter One Organizational and Community Capacity Building: Mediating Change in Family-Serving Organizations and Groups
    (pp. 1-18)

    Across the globe, communities and organizations are engaged in active efforts to promote healthy human development throughout the lifespan by strengthening families. In 1989 the United Nations heeded the advice of an interdisciplinary international panel of experts and declared, “The family is the basic unit of society” (United Nations, 1994). In a strong and healthy society, families care for members from the cradle to the grave and send forth individuals who weave the fabric of sustainable communities and organizations (i.e., communities and organizations that manage and maximize their resources to enhance and maintain the well-being of community members). They farm,...

  8. Chapter Two Consulting to Organizations and Community Groups: Defining and Distinguishing the Provision of Technical Assistance
    (pp. 19-53)

    Consultants emerge from various milieus, such as government, private sector, and university settings. In general, the distinguishing characteristic of a consultant is expertise in a field or a skill that is not readily available to others who need it (e.g., Block, 1981; Schein, 1987). While consultants from all sectors are involved in capacity-building work with organizations and communities, academics and researchers in university settings, such as the contributors to this volume, are often selected as consultants because of access to state-of-the-art knowledge and technology. Most academicians are scholars in a particular field and their workplace, the academy, both expects and...

  9. Chapter Three Cultural Competence: At the Heart of Capacity Building
    (pp. 54-80)

    Effectively serving and supporting families requires that professionals, organizations, and communities develop the skills to work with those from diverse backgrounds and varied social cultures. In human service fields, these skills are commonly referred to as cultural competence. It is believed and results have shown that by integrating and transforming knowledge about individuals and groups of people into specific standards, policies, practices, and attitudes used in culturally competent settings, the quality of services is increased and outcomes are enhanced (Black and Mendenhall, 1990; Child Welfare League, n.d.; Rynes and Rosen, 1995).

    Within any community, families’ experiences and traditions differ. And...

  10. Chapter Four Collaboratives: Avenues to Build Community Capacity
    (pp. 81-115)

    Individuals report a range of benefits from involvement in community capacity-building efforts. The following quotations highlight individual benefits reported by members of collaboratives created to support children and families and to build community capacity:

    “My leadership skills have grown as well as my ability to work with diverse groups.”

    —Community volunteer in a youth development partnership

    “I have increased my ability to write grants, work with volunteers, and collect and report data.”

    —Medical professional in a teen pregnancy prevention initiative

    “[Being a part of the collaborative] has enabled me to work across racial, social and institutional boundaries in...

  11. Chapter Five Putting It All Together: Building Capacity for Strategic Planning
    (pp. 116-136)

    It has been said that those who fail to plan are planning to fail. Attention and forethought to envisioning the community services and supports that ensure a better future for children and families is critical given families’ complex and diverse needs and the vast array of services and systems involved. In recent years, this attention and forethought has been accomplished through strategic planning activities, processes in which a coalition or organization determines where it is going over a period of time and how it is going to get there (Connell and Kubisch, 1999; Rich, Giles, and Stern, 2001).

    Although it...

  12. Chapter Six Building Capacity for Self-Evaluation Among Community Agencies and Organizations
    (pp. 137-187)

    Until recently, family service agencies and organizations operated under an assumption of success. The culture of helping agencies and professionals included the belief that human service delivery is an “art,” not a “science,” and that the results of such services are too abstract and intangible to be assessed in any systematic way. During the past two decades, however, the need for family services has been increasing rapidly at the same time that private and public resources to support these services have become scarce. This increased demand for scarce funds has resulted in a heightened expectation among both public and private...

  13. Conclusion
    (pp. 188-192)

    Consultants who contribute to the building of capacity in organizations and communities are provided a myriad of opportunities not only to enhance the professional and lay service efforts and outcomes of these organization and communities but also to indirectly support the families and children that they serve. However, as described by the contributors to this volume, consultants must be prepared in order to meet these opportunities successfully.

    Several themes are woven throughout this volume with regard to successful organizational and community capacity building. These include clarity regarding expectation and role; individualization of the goals and processes of each effort; understanding...

  14. Appendix. Sample Generic Outline for Final Evaluation Report
    (pp. 193-196)
  15. Index
    (pp. 197-206)