Chapter 1: The Technical Assistance Process
Managing Jurisdictional or Program Change

After obtaining technical assistance information and services and considering the implementation of recommendations, the process is still not complete. The process begins because the need for change is identified. It ends when appropriate change occurs. Several possible barriers may impede the implementation of recommended changes (Seymour and Beatty, 1998):

  • Communication that is absent, incomplete, or inaccurate and prevents the inclusion of all those having an interest in the change process.

  • "Turf issues" resulting in an unwillingness to share and collaborate toward effective change.

  • Lack of funding and other resources (such as information and data management capabilities) to fully implement program changes.

  • Lack of support, time, and encouragement from staff and other stakeholders.

  • Legal and statutory limits that prevent full implementation of program modifications.

  • Historical practices that limit a different vision of the future.

Although all of these pitfalls cannot always be avoided, with good planning and facilitation, many can be diminished. Involving key stakeholders throughout the process, as advocated in this chapter, may decrease significantly the resistance to later changes. Technical assistance leaders and coordinators should be faithful in communicating changes to all staff and other interested stakeholders. Even if resistance is anticipated, it is better to expose it and work with it early in the process than have it undermine change efforts after considerable resources have been committed to the process.

Lack of resources and legal and statutory limits are challenging barriers. However, even they can be overcome with concerted efforts and determination. Legal and statutory issues should be researched early in the process so that recommended changes are congruent with statutes, regulations, and case law. In some cases, advocacy to change or to introduce needed legislation and other strategies may be required to overcome legal barriers.

Even when agency funds are limited, there may be creative ways of stretching resources to accommodate needed program changes. Possible avenues include (Crowe and Schaefer, 1992):

  • Grants from State and Federal Government programs and private foundations.

  • Agency collaboration, such as shared facilities and supplies, interagency training, or other joint endeavors.

  • Donations and other types of resource sharing in exchange for public recognition.

  • Fundraising through businesses, organizations, religious groups, and the community.

  • User fees (for some services).

  • Community service activities performed by youth in exchange for program benefits.

Chapter 1 Contents

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Jurisdictional Technical Assistance Package for Juvenile Corrections Report - December 2000