Building a Cross System Collaborative Infrastructure

Collaborative Investment Strategy for Pennsylvania

Committed to improving child, family and community well-being, the Commonwealth’s former Collaborative Board (SWCB) designed a collaborative investment partnership strategy for Pennsylvania that strives to achieve the following vision for Pennsylvania’s families: All Pennsylvania children and their families will be healthy, educated, self-sufficient and will be living in a safe home and community. . . Read more


Infrastructure Overview

To have an effective research-based systems improvement process, county/community collaboratives must have in place a collaborative infrastructure that seeks to improve the lives of children and their families.

A collaborative infrastructure is defined as a county/community collaborative comprised of diverse stakeholders (including parents) and has a structure and process that regularly assesses community needs.  It obtains and uses data on an ongoing basis to identify and prioritize child, family and community outcomes and uses data to inform and continuously improve practice and policy for quality systems improvement. . . Read more


Building a Continuous Learning System

With increased public demand for accountability and cost effective services, pressure continues to be placed upon programs, organizations and systems to work more effectively and produce better results.  By investing FSSR funds into building collaborative infrastructures, Pennsylvania has begun to see organizations and systems using data to create outcome baselines, developing community strategies that align programs and services to achieve outcome goals, and promoting system and policy changes that redeploy traditional system funds into proven programs and services that support families. . . Read more

Community Decision-making

Community Decision-making is a decision-making process whereby the community takes responsibility for implementing strategies to achieve better results for children, families and communities.  Community decision-making is usually conducted through a partnership that brings together state government, private sector, local officials, and community members.  CDM is a process that capitalizes on and mobilizes the community resources, and informal supports to improve the quality of life in the community. 

Over the years, the Center for the Study of Social Policy has published a number of reports on local governance and community decision-making.  Working with state and local partners from Missouri, Georgia and Vermont, the Center for the Study of Social Policy published six learning guides to help build the capacity of community, state and local partners to carry out an effective decision-making process.  The publications are entitled “Building Capacity for Community Decisionmaking – A Series of Learning Guides for Community Partners”.  Learning Guide One and Learning Guide Three have been used in cross-systems trainings in Pennsylvania, provided by Phyllis Brunson from the Center for the Study of Social Policy.  A complete set of the Learning Guides is available on the CSSP’s website at

  • Local Governance - An excerpt from Learning Guide One from the Center for the Study of Social Policy.



last updated March 14, 2005