A Multiple Agencies and Counties Partnership: Improving Parental Substance Use and Services Delivery Outcomes through a Network Development And Collaboration


  • Jennifer Smith Ramey Horizon Behavioral Health
  • Jeff Randall Division of Global and Community Health Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina


Cross-sector collaboration has been defined as connecting or sharing information, resources, activities, and capabilities by organizations in two or more areas to achieve together an outcome that could not be achieved by organizations in one area separately (Bryson, Crosby, & Stone, 2006). To collaborate, agencies may need to consider questions, such as why to collaborate; what theory or theories will guide the collaboration; what are characteristics of effective networks; what governing structure will be used; how to evaluate the effectiveness of the collaboration network; and what are the benefits and challenges of collaboration. Because families are not being provided services within expected timeframes and because of a significant increase in foster care placements—which was largely driven by parental substance use—there is a need for collaboration among service providers in Central Virginia. A Multiple Agencies and Counties Partnership (MACP) was formed to address these problems. The purpose of this article is to present a case study of the development and accomplishments of MACP in Central Virginia and to relate the development and accomplishments of MACP to each of the aforementioned considerations, which may provide generalized lessons that other agencies may consider when collaborating. Keywords: collaboration, substance use, community, lessons learned

Author Biographies

Jennifer Smith Ramey, Horizon Behavioral Health

Jennifer Smith Ramey earned her M.S./Ed.S. degrees from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Counselor Education in 1996. She has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 1999. She has worked with a variety of populations including adults with severe and persistent mental illness and adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders. She is a certified G.A.I.N (Global Appraisal of Individual Need) local trainer, a certified MET/CBT (Motivational Enhancement Therapy/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) supervisor and therapist, and a certified A-CRA (Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach) supervisor and therapist. Jennifer currently serves on the Bedford Truancy Review Team (TRT), Community Management and Policy Team (CPMT), leads the Bedford Clinical Disposition team, and facilitates a monthly collaborative called “Minds Together” that focuses on community wellness and substance use and mental health prevention and treatment strategies. Jennifer is a member of the Bedford Family Treatment Drug Court planning and operations team.

Jeff Randall, Division of Global and Community Health Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Medical University of South Carolina

Biographical Information Jeff Randall, Ph.D. Jeff Randall received his undergraduate degree in psychology from San Jose State University, his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Virginia Tech, and his pre-doctoral internship as well as post-doctoral fellowship from Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic at the University of Pittsburgh. He is president and CEO of Evidence Based Services, which disseminates evidence-based treatments, such as multisystemic therapy and contingency management, domestically and internationally. He is also an Assistant Professor in the Division of Global and Community Health of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina. He was the project director of a National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIDA/NIAAA) funded project entitled “A Randomized Clinical Trial of Juvenile Drug Court and Multisystemic Therapy (MST)”. This project received funding from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment for the continuation of clinical services. Dr Randall was principal investigator on a grant that add additional treatment components to the NIDA/NIAAA funded project. Dr Randall is first author on eight published substance abuse articles, and has published over 40 articles, book chapters and books. His research interests include Multisystemic Therapy, adolescent substance abuse, contingency management, juvenile drug court, adolescents’ internet use disorders, community interventions, technological interventions, and anxiety disorders.






Policy Evaluation and Review