Restructuring: A Conceptual Framework
March 8, 2011
available resources of three large agencies – human services, juvenile probation, andmental health services. These newly integrated groups meet once a week to makejoint decisions about what they now acknowledge are their shared clients. Over thelast ten years, restructuring has resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the number of children being placed out of home, while also reducing levels of incarceration,homelessness, and hospitalization.
– Using the Joint Powers Authority, the county hasinstitutionalized an integrated service plan that allows programs from the county, thecity of Oakland, and the Oakland Unified School District to work together to keepkids in school, lower Oakland’s high school suspension rates, and reduce crime. Theprogram has thrived for over a decade, through six superintendents and fourmayors. “When we put our staff into the schools, these kids become our kids,” saysDave Kears, special assistant to the county administrator. “It doesn’t matter whosigns the paychecks. What we discovered was, ‘We can’t do this by ourselves.’”
There is an emerging consensus among members of the
Stakeholder Roundtable about how the lessons learned from these local efforts can be appliedto statewide restructuring, especially in the three most significant areas of government spending– Education, Health & Human Services, and Public Safety. (Details about the ongoingStakeholder Roundtable dialogues can be found at
: There is support for integration both within education programs andbetween schools and other programs. These efforts will be vital to improvingstudent performance and addressing goals like closing the achievement gap. Thiswould involve two steps:
The school system itself requires integration. The state has separate earlychildhood, K-12, and higher education programs, many of which do notcommunicate as much as they should.
Health, welfare, and public safety programs should be integrated withschools, in order to create more community schools, full-service schools,and joint-use schools.
Health & Human Services
: There is support for integration and information-sharing in the areas of juvenile justice, child welfare, child mental health, andbehavioral health programs. Improved results in these areas have the potential forhuge savings across the safety net, including:
Reduced Medi-Cal expenses
Reduced incarceration rates
Reduced employee health costs
Increased tax revenues from a more economically productive population
: There is support for program integration in the criminal justicesystem, and stakeholders and experts alike agree this system should be viewed as a