External Communications

Allied Proffessionals

Allied professions, both public and private, include other human services entities such as 

behavioral health providers, schools, law enforcement and medical care professions. Since there is 

an overlap with public child welfare in terms of population served, it is clear to see why 

communications between and among allied professionals and the public child welfare system is so 

important. In fact, many allied professionals are considered mandated reporters of child abuse and 

neglect as a matter of law.

 

Targeted communications with allied professionals can assist with enhancing relationships and 

facilitating greater understanding of the public child welfare agency’s mandated role as protector 

of children, as well as the agency’s responsibilities, policies and practices. The development of 

email distribution lists or offering of listserves will assist in sending targeted messages or 

educational pieces about the agency (including an internal or external newsletter) to such 

professionals. As previously stated, such messages should be sent judiciously and strategically so 

as not to inundate the recipient. A change in the mandated reporter law, for instance, could be 

accurately summarized on the agency web site, with applicable citations to the law and the link 

emailed to allied professionals in addition to the agency’s own staff, provider network, media and 

other relevant stakeholders.

 

Communications is often in a position to gauge “the correctness of the perception of the public” in 

media pieces and correct the misperceptions of allied professionals. An agency, through 

Communications, may consider reaching out to an allied group and building better lines of (cross) 

education and communications if media accounts consistently suggest a disconnect exists. For 

instance, police, uninformed about agency and/or court practices, may attribute a child’s return 

home from shelter to an inadequate supply of foster homes and thereby provide inaccurate 

information through the media to the public. Increased knowledge of operations often corrects such 

potentially damaging perceptions.

 

Some public-serving organizations such as libraries can greatly assist in furthering the 

disseminating capacity of agency information, publications and prevention messages. In addition, 

they are often amenable to holding agency public meetings at their facilities.

 

Well-engaged allied professionals may also assist an agency in the throes of a media crisis by 

either defending the agency or bringing a more reasonable discourse to the coverage. Even if no 

defense is offered, such professionals are generally less ikely to

contribute to the media negativism by further criticizing a beleaguered agency if good lines of 

communication already exist.

 






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