Youth services vary extensively across states and communities. Services may be provided by community-based organizations, publicly and privately funded education and training providers, employer groups, professionals in private practice, and others. Publicly funded organizations, both state and local, must navigate a complex maze of laws, regulations, and policies in order to make decisions about their services. Funding concerns, lack of knowledge about available resources, variations in local philosophy and priorities, privacy protections, and reporting and evaluation requirements further complicate the picture.
This short cut explains that a cross-agency infrastructure can expand and bring greater efficiency to youth services in a state or locality, maximizing available expertise and leveraging funding for youth service delivery. The publication also includes examples of promising practices and an action plan for creating a cross-agency infrastructure locally.