Parents and Children Together-St. Louis (PACT-STL) aims to develop, implement, and evaluate strategies to prevent child maltreatment and reduce entry into the public child welfare system. Convening medical, public health, and social services organizations at state and regional levels, PACT-STL aims to reduce health and service disparities for children in families with lower risk referrals to child protective services (CPS). The initiative collaborates with a network of child and family service agencies, including health, mental health, housing, and child welfare organizations.
PACT-STL employed a system dynamics group model building (GMB) approach with organizational leaders of partner agencies to develop a deeper understanding of patterns of current agency collaboration. Two GMB workshops were held via Zoom to elicit barriers and facilitators to meaningful collaboration among child and family service providers, and to identify strategies to promote enhanced collaboration within the network. The GMB workshops were organized by a design team of members of the PACT-STL team and the Social System Design Lab, including members from Vision for Children at Risk and faculty and students at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. The findings of the workshops were shared in two June 2021 reports: a brief version is available here and a more detailed version is available here.