Form a Partnership and Make It WorkForm a Partnership and Make It Work

Why Is It Important to Develop a Community Partnership?

Business professionals stack their outreached hands on top of one another in the center of a table.No one entity can fully support the needs of young people, it is essential that families, schools, community- and faith-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, and other community groups work together to help youth grow in healthy ways and to provide the safe and supportive environments they need to thrive.

One way to develop a comprehensive approach for helping youth is to create a community partnership. Ideally, such a partnership will draw its members from many different backgrounds and sectors of the community. The aim of the partnership is to work together to assess the needs of youth in the community and develop a coordinated response to these needs. Working with community partners to improve the lives of youth offers many advantages. Many youth issues and risk factors are interrelated. Working together helps you deliver consistent messages and reach youth through a variety of channels. It also presents valuable opportunities to share resources, develop joint goals and objectives, and learn from each other.

A group of youths sit outside reviewing a homework assignment.Building a community partnership can be challenging. Disagreements can arise in establishing project goals or strategies. Turf and boundary issues may exist between organizations, or groups may have competing demands for other worthy projects in the community. Different opinions and perspectives can sometimes bring things to a halt. Try to find the right balance between broad representation and having people who work well together.

Look around in your community to see if partnerships already exist. Consider whether you should join with them or build something new. If you’re forming a new community partnership, this section will help you get started.

Form a Community Partnership
Develop Youth-Adult Partnerships
Make Your Partnership Work