Innovation in Cross-System Collaboration to Better Support Babies

States achieve better outcomes for infants, toddlers, and families when they work collaboratively across systems and when services are coordinated and connected.

Cross-system work can result in significant improvements in how government supports families. By working collaboratively, states have increased the number of children and families served by leveraging funding; improved the quality of services across sectors; strengthened referral pathways so more children and families receive the services they need; and met the needs of parents and children at the same time.

ZERO TO THREE developed four case studies and a companion brief to share examples of how states are connecting systems to collaboratively meet the needs of babies, young children, and families. Though not a comprehensive list of states working across systems, the profiles in this series – Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, and Washington – are meant to inspire and offer tips for states interested in embarking on similar collaborations. The companion brief identifies some of the common practices that were important to the states’ collaborative efforts.

This series builds on previous work ZERO TO THREE did in partnership with the Center for Law and Social Policy through the Building Strong Foundations project to identify 13 policies core to advancing infant-toddler well-being.