Improving cross-system collaboration for children, parents, and their families

Children and Family Futures (CFF) offers training and technical assistance to tribes, states, counties, courts, and community-based agencies to improve cross-systems collaboration and improve outcomes for children, parents and their families affected by substance use and mental disorders and who are involved in child welfare services. Training and technical assistance is guided by CFF’s Comprehensive Framework, which was developed over several decades of experience working with hundreds of collaborative partnerships and distills the complexity of collaboration into concrete areas of action.

Child welfare workers, courts, substance use treatment providers, healthcare providers, and community partners need to work together to identify substance use and mental disorders and provide timely access to assessment and engagement in treatment services to prevent child removal and support child permanency and family well-being. No one agency can tackle this issue on its own—it requires a coordinated response that draws on the talents and resources of many agencies. Building and sustaining collaborative relationships across these numerous systems can be challenging and require a dedicated effort to develop connections, communications, and collaborative capacities. Children and Family Futures supports tribes, states, counties, and communities to implement practical steps and strategies to ensure structure for cross-systems collaborative teams and implement effective communication protocols and collaborative practice innovations that improve services and family outcomes.


CFF has disseminated nearly 8,000 materials related to collaborative practice since 2016
CFF has responded to over 3,000 technical assistance requests about building and strengthening collaborative capacity since 2016


Through federally- and foundation-funded projects, Children and Family Futures and its small business subsidiary, Center for Children and Family Futures, produces publications, reports, Technical Assistance tools and web-based learning for the field. The following are featured resources from our work. For a full list of resources, or information related to a specific topic, please click the “Request Assistance” button below or at the top of the page.