Systems Change and Multi-Organizational Partnerships: Understanding How Organizations Work Together Within the Reclaiming Futures Initiative

Gretchen E. Moore, The Urban Institute
Jeffrey Butts, The Urban Institute
Janeen M. Buck, The Urban Institute

Reclaiming Futures Initiative, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is designed to improve the coordination and integration of substance abuse services for youth in the juvenile justice system. Eleven communities throughout the country have started multi-organizational partnerships, including social serviceds, treatment providers, and the judicial system, to create a comprehensive approach towards juvenile justice and maintain those efforts through systems change.

The goals of the Urban Institute evaluation include understanding and monitoring service delivery in the sites and measuring change, at te individual, family, community, and systems level. This paper will focus on the systems-level changes in the sites-to measure the way that individuals and organizations interaction and the structures that are put in place to aid those efforts. Network analysis allows us to measure this interaction, such as type, quality, and quantity of communication, and analyze how that affects decision-making and teamwork within justice partnerships.

The presentation will provide an overview of the implications of network analysis, the methods used in this evaluation, and preliminary findings from the first wave of data collection.

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Updated 05/20/2006