There has been an increased recognition on the part of the federal government that the blending and braiding resources from different funding streams is a practical strategy. In fact, states are permitted to make formal requests for waivers of either legislative and/or regulatory authority to accomplish this explicit purpose, identifying in their plans the multiple agencies involved in the development and delivery of services. However, states must rely on local initiatives to effectively meld resources and services. This is where intermediaries can assume a critical role by bringing together traditionally separate programs and services with separate funding streams, created in response to different priorities and administered by a number of federal, state and local agencies. Intermediaries can identify mutually beneficial ways to blend and/or braid funding and resources to improve services.
This brief, the second in a series, focuses on how intermediary organizations can facilitate the blending and braiding of funds and resources to encourage cross-system collaboration and, in turn, to improve the educational and employment outcomes for all youth, including those with disabilities. This brief identifies strategies that states can use to support local communities in the “blending” and “braiding” of resources, and outlines how cross-systems collaboration and alternative funding strategies can be facilitated by intermediary organizations at both the state and local levels.