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The Community Collaboratives were developed to implement coordinated community planning and provide for joint advocacy for human services in a county area. Currently, all counties, either individually or in cooperation with other counties, have an established collaborative group that addresses issues that impact the lives of children, families, and special populations in their area. These collaboratives provide for:
- Community planning and visioning (establishes workgroups of agency staff, consumers, and community representatives to plan and/or implement services for a target population or coordinate services;
- Sharing of information regarding programs, policies and protocols/procedures;
- Taking responsibility for the local directions and coordination of state-, federal- and foundation-sponsored collaborative enterprises, including reporting the results/activities;
- Managing state-funded collaborative initiatives and workings with the designated fiduciary; and
- Linking with or consolidating other community collaborative groups (Early On Local Interagency Coordinating Councils, Homeless Continuums of Care, Child Abuse/Neglect Councils, Workforce Development, etc.).
The membership of the collaboratives is comprised of public and private sector representatives from the human services organizations that address various family support needs. Each Community Collaborative serves as the entity that 1) sets the agenda for collaborative activities, 2) focuses resources on common "outcomes" and 3) acts as the common community interface with State agencies on State collaborative efforts in human services. Technical assistance to the local Community Collaboratives is provided by the Michigan Department of Community Health-Mental Health Services to Children and Families.