The Community’s Family Collaborative

Mr. Steve O'Malley

Mr. Steve O’Malley

August is the 5th annual “Rebuilding for Learning” summit sponsored by the City of La Crosse, the La Crosse School District and La Crosse County.  La Crosse County is proud to be a strong partner with the School District and the City in this groundbreaking initiative.  This collaborative partnership has directly benefited many students and families in the La Crosse area through a variety of improvements to services offered by each organization.

A primary motivation behind “Rebuilding for Learning” is that preventative initiatives are more cost effective than establishing systems of care that people come to depend upon.  Unfortunately, some students within our school district begin exposure to a variety of county services very early in life.  It is our belief that through a continued collaborative effort between the County, City and School District we can reduce the overall demand on our Human Services system, while providing more efficient service delivery and improved outcomes for students and families.

The Community Family Collaborative is one illustration of this type of service integration.  La Crosse County Human Services Director Jason Witt, backed by a wonderful team of dedicated staff and a supportive County Board, has assembled the latest example of evidenced based pursuit of outcomes from the “Rebuilding for Learning” collaboration.

The La Crosse Area Family Collaborative will begin full service delivery in September, using a proactive prevention model to deliver human services to clients where they live; improving accessibility, efficiency and ultimately the level of trust on the part of students and families.  The La Crosse Area Family Collaborative will work with the School District’s teachers and social workers, along with City law enforcement to help identify and pro-actively engage families in better meeting their needs.  Through this method of service delivery, clients gain quicker access, but reduce their long-term service needs as active participants in the process.

The Family Collaborative is a new approach to community human services delivery for La Crosse County.  We look forward to this program’s full implementation in the upcoming months in continued partnership and collaboration with the City, School District and other community organizations.  Over these past five years, the “Rebuilding for Learning” effort has helped shepherd this initiative and other process improvements making a difference in the lives of children and their families in La Crosse.   Keep up the great work.  Together we truly make a difference.


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