Lindsay V. Ollerenshaw, Beth McManus, Mary Jane Rapport, Marcelo Perraillon, Natalie J. Murphy, Dawn Magnusson

An analysis of interagency collaboration: Lessons learned from Colorado's early intervention program

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

AbstractIntroductionThe purpose of this study was to describe interagency collaboration in Part C Early Intervention (EI) programs.MethodsBetween 18 April and 9 May 2022, 48 EI service coordinators (SCs) from 14 programs in one state completed adapted versions of the Interagency Collaboration Activities Scale (IACAS) and Relational Coordination Survey (RCS). Assessing perceptions of shared structures (IACAS) and coordination quality (RCS), these combined measures summarized interagency collaboration with 11 organizations. Mean (SD) survey responses were estimated and ranked.ResultsSample SCs represent a breadth of professional disciples and vary substantially in their current and desired collaborations. The quantity of SCs collaborating with organizations ranged from 0% to 98%. Nearly all (98%) reported collaborating with the school districts, few (15%) reported collaborating with insurance, and none reported collaborating with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children. The majority of SCs expressed desire to increase their collaborations with most of the listed organizations. The perceived quality of collaborations varied substantially at both individual and organizational levels. When comparing SC perceptions of shared structures and coordination quality, SCs reported more favourable collaborations with school districts (IACAS rank: first and RCS rank: first) and less favourable collaborations with insurance (IACAS rank: ninth and RCS rank: seventh). Some organizations rankings varied across both scales, including pediatric primary care (IACAS rank: third and RCS rank: eighth) and hospitals (IACAS rank: sixth and RCS rank: second). Overall, SCs reported low perceived existence of shared structures while coordination quality varied by organization. Opportunities for collaborative growth were identified.DiscussionDespite its importance and required implementation in EI, perceptions of interagency collaboration varied substantially within and between EI programs. There is a suggested need to increase the quantity of SCs that collaborate and identified opportunities to increase the quality of collaborations that already exist.

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