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Standard 4

Collaboration and Partnerships

Candidates demonstrate knowledge and skills related to developing, utilizing and maintaining inter- and intra-agency collaboration and partnerships with education organizations, juvenile justice, courts, law enforcement, general and mental health agencies, probation and children and family services.


PPS candidates with specializations in both school social work and child welfare and attendance develop knowledge and skills for collaboration and partnering with key programs and organizations both inside and outside the school system. They acquire an understanding of the methods and skills to develop and sustain learning and support systems. They also learn to effectively connect pupils and families to needed services. The courses which provide content in these learning areas are illustrated in Matrix 4-1.

Knowledge to develop, utilize and maintain inter- and intra-agency collaboration and partnerships

PPS candidates develop the knowledge and skills for effective collaboration and partnerships to establish and maintain learning and support systems for pupils and families. One mechanism for developing these abilities is participation in multidisciplinary teams. S Wrk 212, HBSE: A Multi Systems Approach addresses the theoretical framework of multidisciplinary team processes. Candidates explore the advantages and disadvantages of a multidisciplinary team to service provision. They also examine issues of leadership, team building, facilitation and consensus as well as roles within a multidisciplinary team approach.

Both the foundation practice classes (S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221) and Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations (S Wrk 246) present a team approach to service delivery as one modality for intervention in the education environment. For example, see course content and skill exercises from S Wrk 221 on Working with Client Environments. Techniques of team intervention are explored as well as designing teams for specific task goals. Both of the Advanced Social Work Practice in Schools courses, S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, provide specific content on the utilization of a multidisciplinary team approach in providing services for students. Strategies for effective team building in an educational setting are discussed.

Candidates also develop skills in collaboration and partnerships by interfacing with public and private community-based organizations, agencies and professionals. The theoretical foundation for effective collaboration is presented in S Wrk 212, HBSE: A Multi Systems Approach. The knowledge base for practice skills to implement this collaboration and form effective partnerships is acquired in S Wrk 246: Social Work Practice with Formal Organizations. These skills include administrative practice, effective communication, consensus building and working with diverse groups. For more specific information, see the outline of course content on External Relations.

S Wrk 274 and S Wrk 275, provide specific content on collaboration in the school setting, including community-school collaboration and school-linked services. The advantages of a collaborative approach, as well as common barriers to collaboration, are explored. For example, see S Wrk 274 content on Collaboration with School Personnel, Families and Community. The implications of this information for inter- and intra-agency collaboration and partnerships are addressed in course readings and class discussions. Candidates develop an understanding of the importance of effective inter- and intra-agency collaboration to minimize fragmentation and improve the coordination and effectiveness of pupil support services. They are also oriented to the logistics of such collaboration, including the writing of Memoranda of Understanding and Contracts. S Wrk 247, Social Work Practice with Communities, provides additional content on the importance of organizational partnerships with communities. Specific practice strategies for developing and maintaining these partnerships are examined.

Skills to develop, utilize and maintain inter- and intra-agency collaboration and partnerships

The concurrent field practicum in the schools, S Wrk 282/283, provides candidates with the opportunity to apply principles and skills for effective collaboration. Both the S Wrk 282 and S Wrk 283 learning agreements and the PPS learning agreement addendum include a range of assignments to develop these important skills. PPS candidates routinely collaborate with school personnel and outside professionals in the delivery of social work and CWA services. For example, see the PPS learning agreement addendum, items 4 and 5 PPS Competencies. They also participate in multidisciplinary teams such as the Student Study Team and the School Attendance Review Board. They also interface with family resource centers, school-linked parent centers, tutoring and mentoring programs, school-linked or neighborhood health centers, mental health, law enforcement, children and family services and other programs that serve pupils and families. All PPS candidates complete a minimum of 30 hours outside of education engaged in interdisciplinary practice with community agencies. The PPS program at CSU, Fresno specifies minimum hours in four practice areas to ensure the candidates for the CWA specialization have had adequate exposure to those disciplines most relevant to the specialization. The specification of hours is as follows: 8 hours in child welfare; 8 hours in juvenile justice; 6 hours in medical; and, 8 hours in other CWA related practice.

Utilizing partnerships to connecting youth and families to services

A primary component of social work practice is linking people with needs to community resources and services. The practice component of this specialized skill is presented in S Wrk 220 and S Wrk 221, Foundations for Social Work Practice I and II. PPS candidates learn the various aspects of case management, including linkage and brokering. They explore techniques for developing relationships with community-based organizations in order to enhance services to consumers. They are also introduced to health and human services resource mapping to organize their knowledge of the variety of services available.

The field practicum in the schools, S Wrk 282/283, provides candidates with direct experience in identifying, linking and evaluating resources between pupils, families, the school and the community. For example, PPS competency #8 includes brokering and linkage: Candidate demonstrates skill in interpretingpupil’s development, educational status and potential to families with the specific purpose of enhancingfamilies’ understanding and utilization of available school and community resources.

During the orientation phase of the internship, students devote considerable time to establishing professional relationships with school staff, analyzing the organizational structure and functioning of the school, and becoming familiar with the wide range of programs and services available at the school and in the community. This foundation of knowledge regarding resources is expanded throughout the practicum with increased exposure to programs and services and increased experience with connecting youth and families to services. PPS candidates in school social work and CWA have an orientation to empowerment in the delivery of all services, including brokering. They clearly understand that youth and families who are empowered will make the best use of resources available. This understanding is cultivated throughout the MSW/PPS program and reinforced through weekly supervision with the MSW/PPS field instructor.

Department of Social Work Education PPS Credential Program








School Social Work


Collaboration and Partnerships

200, 203

212, 213

220, 221 224, 225 227, 246 247

280, 281 282, 283

260, 261 292 298/299

274 275

274 275

Factors to consider:








Knowledge to develop, utilize and maintain inter- and intra agency collaboration and partnerships



220, 221 246, 247




274, 275

Skills to develop, utilize and maintain inter- and intra agency collaboration and partnerships



220, 221 246, 247




274, 275

Connecting youth and families to services



220, 221

282, 283




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