Inter-Organizational Collaboration in the Implementation of Evidence-based Practices Among Public Agencies Serving Abused and Neglected Youth

  • Lawrence A. PalinkasEmail author
  • Dahlia Fuentes
  • Megan Finno
  • Antonio R. Garcia
  • Ian W. Holloway
  • Patricia Chamberlain
Research - Practice Relationships


This study examined the role of inter-organizational collaboration in implementing new evidence-based practices for addressing problem behaviors in at-risk youth. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 38 systems leaders of probation, mental health, and child welfare departments of 12 California counties participating in a large randomized controlled trial to scale-up the use of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care. Three sets of collaboration characteristics were identified: (1) characteristics of collaboration process, (2) characteristics of the external environment, and (3) characteristics of participating organizations and individuals. Inter-organizational collaboration enables an exchange of information and advice and a pooling of resources individual agencies may require for successful implementation.


Mental health services Child welfare Juvenile justice Evidence-based practice Implementation Collaboration 



Support for this research was provided by the William T. Grant Foundation [Grant ID# 9493] and, for the parent grant, NIMH RO1MH07658 and DHHS Childrens’Bureau. The sponsors did not have a role or influence in the study design, the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the report, and the decision to submit the article for publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence A. Palinkas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dahlia Fuentes
    • 1
  • Megan Finno
    • 1
  • Antonio R. Garcia
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ian W. Holloway
    • 5
  • Patricia Chamberlain
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Social WorkUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent Services Research CenterSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.School of Policy and PracticeUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Research to PracticeEugeneUSA
  5. 5.Department of Social WelfareUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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