External Communications

Definition

Contracted providers often take the role of the agency-in-the-field. They may have their own name 

and their own mission, but they are nonetheless representative of the public child welfare agency 

and its work in the community. Since private providers are under contract to deliver essential 

services to children, youth or families, care should be given to establishing good lines of formal 

communications between the agency and provider.

 

While such communication often occurs between leadership of both entities, Communications can 

assist with educating contracted providers and staff members about the agency’s mission, guiding 

principles, goals for the year and new initiatives. Provider distribution lists can be developed to 

send regular messages to provider leadership who, in turn, can forward them throughout their 

organization. Often, agency all-staff email messages are relevant to providers as well. Likewise, 

an agency newsletter can be distributed to providers. Giving staff of contracted provider agencies 

access to the public child welfare agency’s Intranet is another means to keep all those in service 

to children, youth and families on the same page.

 

Not only is it important to get information to provider agencies, it is also important to get 

feedback from provider agencies. Communications may consider organizing an annual (or more 

frequent) Provider Forum to facilitate a collective dialog with agency leadership. Such forums also 

serve to encourage relationship-building and collaboration among providers. Forums may uncover 

disconnects and offer creative solutions toward remedying communications issues. For instance, 

large agencies may consider establishing a dedicated staff member with expertise in local 

resources, to assist provider staff with identifying available agency resources for families.

 

Surveys are an effective way to gauge provider alignment with agency mission, guiding principles 

and goals. These can be done through the agency web site and with anonymous participation.

 

Providers also can be encouraged to extend the brand of the agency via an affiliation and funding 

acknowledgement on their literature and web site. This serves to broaden the community’s 

understanding of the breadth of agency work and, to a degree, permits the agency to leverage 

goodwill established by these providers, since they may be viewed in a more positive, family-

strengthening, or community-enhancing way than the agency itself.

 






    INDUSTRY PARTNER MEMBERS
Platinum
Accenture
CGI
Change & Innovation Agency
Deloitte
FEi Systems
file
IBM
file
KPMG
file
Maximus
Microsoft
Northwoods
Optum
Oracle
PCG Human Services
Unisys
Silver
Adobe
Experian
spacer
spacer
spacer2
spacer2
Media
Governing Magazine