Introduction

Two or more organisations agree to formally documenting an agreement about the role of each agency without merging and creating a new legal entity. Joint funding can be applied for without the individual agencies losing their autonomy.

Advantages

  • Organisations can maintain autonomy. This can be of particular advantage where small outreach services of large or statewide organisations wish to partner with other local services to share resources and improve outcomes for clients through a more holistic approach to service delivery.
  • Relationships can be strengthened.
  • Joint funding can be trialed.

Disadvantages

  • Relationships need effort to maintain.
  • One agency has to take the lead and responsibility for ensuring sound governance and risk management.

Case studies

The Blue Mountains Consortium (BMC) 

The Blue Mountains Consortium consisting of nine partnering services initially formed in response to:

  • a NSW Department of Community Services tender process requirement to collaborate/integrate to deliver services in new Brighter Futures program (no single agency could secure funds)
  • a new policy direction within local council with regard to service system integration.

This new model of service delivery presented challenges because the Blue Mountains LGA is geographically spread across 110kms and includes 27 towns and villages. Blue Mountains Consortium views itself and operates as a separate entity that is separate to the implementation of any particular project

The Stronger Families Alliance (SFA)

Represents all the interfaces that Blue Mountain's families with young children have, directly or non-directly, with government, community and business organisations.  It was formed because no single agency could respond to increasingly complex needs of families and local level response was needed to develop comprehensive, integrated service systems.

The conveners are: Blue Mountains City Council, NSW Department Human Services, Community Services, MCRN (Advocacy Peak). There are 17 additional members from a diverse range of organisations, and all members have decision making powers.

Read a case study of this initiative.

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