This toolkit contains a packet of communications materials that counties can use to convey a common message about the value, purpose and impact of Linkages.

Why Communicate?

Working in a service collaboration will be a first for many counties. Joint partnerships like Linkages require extra attention to communication, both between staff of partnering agencies and with collaborators who are new to Linkages. Creating and maintaining new channels of communication will be an important step in making sure everyone involved understands the nature and benefits of your county’s Linkages program. Using previously created communication materials keeps the message consistent and the workload down. Materials in this Toolkit were created under the sponsorship of CFPIC (or the previous sponsor, CCRWF) with the expertise of communications professionals Renee Wessels & Associates and Iron Mountain Films. Examples of county communication products are also posted for your reference.

How to Communicate About Linkages

Statewide Linkages has developed communication materials for counties to use for introducing staff and partners to their programs. The materials support collaboration between CalWORKs and Child Welfare Services and are easy to adapt and use with program staff, community partners, families and others. The following tips may be helpful as you consider how best to use Linkages materials in your county.

 Tips for Communicating About Linkages

Choose Your Communications Materials

Key to any communication campaign is clear, intentional messages with the target audience fully in mind. Consistent, core messages about Linkages are woven through several products which can be used to share the Linkages story with an array of stakeholders for a variety of purposes. From fact sheets to videos, create a communication packet that addresses your specific needs.

Videos

The Linkages Challenge (2010) – There are two versions of this inspirational video about the challenges of collaboration and how two counties work to overcame barriers to better serve children and families.

Preview (4:00 min.) – Ideal for short presentations to policymakers, directors and staff.

Feature (16:00 min.) – Full version to use in orientations and staff trainings and meetings with community members.

The Linkages Story (2005) – This is the original Linkages video that was produced and provides an excellent informational overview of Linkages and the value of collaboration.

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away (2011) – An extremely entertaining 20 min video produced by Merced County that teaches managers and staff about the organizational culture changes necessary for Linkages to thrive.

Print Materials

Linkages Key Messages – This one pager provides overall key messages or talking points for counties to use in consistently and clearly communicating about collaboration. The key messages are derived from CalWORKs and Child Welfare staff input at a focus group/training during the 2009 Convening and the work of an ad hoc communication workgroup that helped to refine staff input.

Linkages Overview Sheet – This one page summary provides an overview of Linkages, including information on the overlap between families served by both CalWORKs and Child Welfare programs.

Collaboration Checklist – This two page checklist includes specific strategies and activities that directors, managers and staff can take to promote collaboration. The checklist is culled directly from counties and offers specific, concrete and doable activities.

Linkages Brochure – The Linkages brochure is offered in both pdf and word document forms to as to make it as easy as possible for counties to customize for local use. Counties can highlight county strategies and testimonials, and include local contact information.

Linkages Overview PowerPoint – This summary presentation on Linkages collaboration can be easily adapted for presentations at meetings with directors, staff and others. All information is provided in template form.

Success Stories Tool – This three page document provides a brief explanation of the value of “success stories” and how they can help educate others about your work with families. It also includes a simple form for counties to complete and submit to Linkages staff so that we can help develop the information you provide into a success story that can be shared with others.

Linkages Newsletters– Monthly newsletters published by CFPIC from 2008–2011 filled with resource material pertaining to Linkages. Many counties have mirrored this by creating their own newsletters.