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Monday, June 25, 2012

Partnership Success: Community connection, Commitment, Transparency and Mutual respect.

Each service coordination partnership showcased in this newsletter is unique; and they all have strategies that help make them successful. Some common themes presented throughout all the stories are innovation, community connection, commitment, transparency and mutual respect.

Dina McGowan, Executive Director at Tri-County Literacy Council and First Stop in Cornwall, shares the following suggestions when building partnerships around a service coordination model, such as their centralized assessment centre:

  1. Make sure all partners are on board
  2. Design formal agreements
  3. Keep communication lines open
  4. Don't go forward if you have any doubts

Jan Goatcher, Coordinator of the John Howard Society's Skills Plus LBS program in Ottawa says it's important to partner with an agency that believes your literacy services are going to be useful. "

If they're not advocating the program for you and with you, then it's not going to work," says Jan.

When starting a partnership, it's important to be realistic, but to also remain open and flexible in the direction it takes. Sometimes the original plan doesn't work the way it was envisioned, but that doesn't mean some good can't come out of it, most stakeholders agree.

Joyce Bigelow, Executive Director of Northern Connections, notes "Partnerships help the community and the programs. Not every partnership is going to fully work out, but even if it works partly, you've increased awareness that much."