Understanding the challenges educators have with time constraints, for example, those service providers can work to streamline referral mechanisms and minimize the time required to connect students to services. Knowing that many students and families are concerned about stigma associated with receiving services, communications and marketing materials can stress the confidentiality and steps taken to maximize privacy of those receiving supports. While wait lists may be unavoidable, clear communication about the wait list process and timing can reduce confusion and enable more effective planning. Along with trust, building understanding relationships with families is critically important. This was made clear by one speaker who told the story of her experience with her mother sitting in a supportive services office. She recalled the way her mother was addressed and made to feel infantilized as a result of asking for help. This experience as a young child had a lasting impression on the speaker and changed the way she viewed these types of service agencies. Investing in service-enriched housing is also a strategy to countering the barriers faced by educators. When services are provided in the resident’s community, they come from a known entity, reducing concerns around stigma and challenges in reaching family members. Building relationships between service providers in affordable housing and educators can help educators stay informed about who to contact and what services are available for their students. 5. C reate and promote cross-sector partnerships to ensure families are served and supports are aligned Cross-sector partnerships are one way that policymakers and community leaders can tackle some of the many issues raised in our survey, including the need for more educator trainings and the reduction of barriers to accessing supportive services. Cross-sector partnerships, and greater dialogue among stakeholders in both the housing and education fields, are one way to implement meaningful and effective supports for students and families. They enable practitioners and policymakers to better understand and address the “root causes” of societal issues, to innovate, and to develop collective solutions. 9 By working together across their respective sectors, community development, human services
9 Van Tulder, Rob, et al. “Enhancing the impact of cross-sector partnerships.” Journal of Business Ethics 135.1 (2016): 1–17.
Growing Up & Out of Poverty
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