Journal Issue: School-Linked Services Volume 2 Number 1 Spring 1992
Within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and among the domestic cabinet agencies—most notably, Education, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development—a comprehensive service integration initiative is under way. This initiative focuses on strengthening families faced with challenging social, economic, and health problems. Earlier federal efforts focused on improving program administration. These efforts were part of a top-down approach in which the federal government dictated changes to state and local governments and clients had little choice or decision-making control. Current service integration efforts employ a two-pronged strategy whose objectives are not only to improve outcomes, but also to enable families to become as self-sufficient and independent of government programs as possible. Though federal efforts focus more on integration of services than on school-linked services specifically, the authors see the schools as being in the pivotal case management position to increase access to services. A major thrust of DHHS service integration activities over the next few years will be through collaborative arrangements with state and local agencies. A new resource center will provide technical assistance to state and local agencies, acting as a clearinghouse for information about past and present community service integration efforts.