Schools as Community Hubs Discussion paper

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1 Schools as Community Hubs Discussion paper To build common understanding and practice about the development of schools as community hubs in South Australia

2 Contents Introduction: The policy context 3 What are schools as community hubs? 5 Why schools as community hubs? 7 What outcomes might school community hubs seek to achieve? 9 What services might a school community hub provide? 10 A results based approach is best 12 What might a community hub at a school look like? 13 Services provision models 13 Partnership models 15 Governance models 18 What are the barriers and enablers of schools as community hubs? 20 What are the identified best practices for implementing school community hubs? 21 What has been the experience of some schools across South Australia? 22 Tables 1. SA strategic priority: Every change for every child 3 2. School community hub possible service areas and examples The partnering continuum Characteristics of the 3Cs: Co-operation, Coordination and Collaboration Five dimensions of partnership work Skills required for collective impact Barriers and enablers of schools as community hubs 20 Figures 1. Most often cited outcomes or benefits of Australian school community hub initiatives as of Core and variable services of school community hubs in Australia as of A sample results based framework: The Community Schools Logic Model of the USA Schools as community hubs how services may be provided Partner as the leader model for schools as community hubs 19 To view this document online, visit Department for Education and Child Development Printed November 2013

3 Introduction: The policy context The South Australian Government has identified seven priorities for assuring the State s future. One of the priorities is about finding ways of supporting every child to achieve their full potential. One strategy being investigated towards achieving the Every chance for every child priority is the concept of schools as community hubs. The Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) has been working on this initiative on behalf of the South Australian Every chance for every child Cabinet Taskforce (SA Government, DECD, 2012). Table 1: SA strategic priority Every chance for every child Vision Every South Australian child is able to thrive throughout the stages of their development, as a result of an integrated network of accessible and high quality services that are valued by their community. Mission To develop in partnership with local communities models of integrated service delivery that: draw on contemporary international, national and local research findings are demonstrated to improve development outcomes for all children and young people and those who are vulnerable in particular can be successfully scaled up across a variety of services and locations inform service innovation through systemic and policy reform. Strategies Schools as community hubs providing services designed to support families and children from the time they are born until the end of their schooling, is one strategy being investigated by DECD. Source: 3

4 The DECD work on schools as community hubs has been informed by recent international and national research and the direct experience of some schools across South Australia. Key messages from the literature have been shared and some schools have become demonstration sites, sharing their experiences in developing their own version of a community hub, to provide practical examples of how the school as a community hub concept can be established to an operational level. Many additional schools have also built a culture of community engagement and support. Schools as community hubs is in accord with the DECD s mission: To achieve a fully integrated child development system capable of improving outcomes for all young people by harnessing the statewide capacities of families, communities, government and non-government agencies with responsibilities for children. DECD is now considering how it can best support schools as community hubs within a redesign of the department. Referred to as the Brighter Futures programme, the redesign involves several projects that can aid the development of schools as community hubs. Additionally, DECD s successful children centres for early childhood development and parenting and its innovative community action networks (ICANS) offer valuable insights into how effective collaboration with other organisations can bring services together and achieve the best outcomes for children (0-18 years) and their families. This document This paper seeks to build common understanding and practice regarding the development of schools as community hubs in South Australia. The paper overviews the literature on what community hubs at schools are, the rationale for their development, what outcomes they may seek to achieve and services therefore provide and through what models. Enablers and barriers to successful implementation and considered best practices are also identified. The international research relates to three countries in particular that all have long-term experience in this area: the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and Canada. In Australia, research includes that undertaken in through the national partnerships agreements that are part of the school reform initiatives of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG), and towards aiding states and territories to develop their own initiatives and research base. 4

5 What are schools as community hubs? There is no single agreed definition of a school as a community hub in the literature (The Royal Children s Hospital Centre, 2012). Further, the concept is also referred to by other terms, including: extended service schools (at the Australian national level); extended schools (UK); full-service community schools or simply community schools (USA) and schools as community hubs (Canada). Some example definitions of these terms follow for consideration and with a view to developing a descriptor for South Australia. Example definitions United Kingdom Extended schools provide a range of services and activities, often beyond the school day, to help meet the needs of children and young people, their families and the wider community (UK Department for Education and Skills, 2006 :7). United States of America Full-service community schools provide comprehensive academic, social, and health services for students, students family members, and community members that will result in improved educational outcomes for children (US Department of Education, 2010: front page). Canada Schools are community hubs where all people can stay active to learn and participate in the activities of communitybased organisations. The community use of schools program helps students, parents and members of the community to be more active in a safe and healthy environment (Ontario Department of Education, 2013: front page). Researcher A full-service school integrates education, medical, social and/or human services that are beneficial to meeting the needs of children and youth and their families on school grounds or in locations which are easily accessible. A full-service school provides the types of prevention, treatment, and support services children and families need to succeed services that are high quality and comprehensive and are built on interagency partnerships which have evolved from cooperative ventures to intensive collaborative arrangements among state and local and public and private entities (Dryfoos, 1994: 142). 5

6 Australian Government Extended services schooling are approaches that work in partnership with government, local providers, community members and each other to offer a range of extended services to students, their families and the local community. They are a model for engaging students, parents and local community to complement that already experienced inside the classroom (TNS Australia, 2012: 4). Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) The school as a community hub model facilitates the co-location or collaborative provision of a range of social services either in the school or in conjunction with the school. The goal is to provide ready access for disadvantaged and at-risk students to complementary support and enhance student learning and achievement as well as supplementary services that address barriers to learning (ACER, 2011:2). Key concepts As the above definitions indicate, a school community hub: is a location where services can be accessed that contribute to the health, wellbeing and learning of school children directly or indirectly via targeting families and the local community involves partnerships between the school and other agencies to create and deliver the services links outside and inside school services in order to deliver the right service at the right time to school children and their families and the local community. 6

7 Why schools as community hubs? The idea of strengthening ties between schools and services to their surrounding communities is certainly not new. However there is a new enthusiasm for schools as community hubs at this time. To address children and young people s needs so that schooling can be effective The development of schools as a source of enhanced services provision and co-ordination for children emerges from an understanding that many of today s children have complex needs to be addressed so that schooling can be effective. The identification of and a desire to address these needs has been a common catalyst for adopting an extended services approach directed at supporting vulnerable young people and the families and communities in which they live (Foundation for Young Australians, 2012). Social research clearly indicates that education, employment, healthy living conditions and social support networks all strongly influence the ability of families to provide the best environment for their developing children. Social factors, personal factors and school each have a percentage bearing on a child s achievement, life chances and wellbeing. The impact is 40% social, 40% personal and 20% school according to West-Burnham et al (2007). The tendency for the focus of education reform to be predominantly inside the school and focused on standards, testing, and teacher quality, needs to be complemented by a focus on external factors that influence student achievement such as family circumstances, poverty, health, cultural differences, student engagement, and others. Schools need to develop an outward focus to address these issues and work together with other institutions or agencies with responsibilities for children. Whether in small towns, urban areas, or big cities, non-academic factors hunger, safety, health, and other issues spill into the classroom, affect learning, and create challenges well beyond what schools should be expected to handle alone. Indeed, schools that work with parents are likely to achieve the greatest success. Parents are the first and most important teachers in a child s life and they are the most important influence on a child s learning, development and wellbeing outcomes. Intergenerational learning is a natural extension of the schools as a community hub model in many cases. 7

8 To achieve high learning performance for all While addressing the needs of more vulnerable children and young people and their families is a common focus of community hubs in schools, they obviously can benefit children from all backgrounds. The provision of support services can be used for the purposes of achieving high learning performance for all. School principals from across Australia involved in a recent national survey about extended schooling all agreed that there is a need for an extended services approach, including those not currently delivering extended services. Further, parents involved in a complementary survey indicated a strong desire for extended service schooling (TNS Australia, 2012). Parents and educators view integration of family and community as essential to both the education and social environment of a child and the community the child lives in. To avoid services duplication and address gaps in services provision In this period of tight budgets, educators, community leaders and policymakers are more aware than ever of the need to use scarce resources efficiently and effectively. Experience teaches us that diverse stakeholders are, in effect, all responsible for the same children, the same families and the same communities, and working together enables all to better meet needs. The concept of schools as community hubs creates an opportunity to ensure that duplication of services by different agencies is reduced/ eliminated. It relies on agencies planning more holistically in the context of each other s services rather than in isolation using a silos approach. Integrated services available through the school will increase the efficiency and convenience with which services are made available and may free up resources that can go towards additional services and fill identified gaps in services provision that relate to local community needs. A school might also encourage community use of school space as an efficiency measure but it is only when this contributes to and enriches children s learning within the school that it fits within the concept of a school as a community hub discussed here. A school is thought of as a community hub when children s learning activities within the school contribute to community development, and when community activities in the school contribute to and enrich children s learning. In other instances the community users of the school space are more like fellow consumers of space that is a valid complementary goal. 8

9 What outcomes might school community hubs seek to achieve? The precise goals of schools as community hubs depend on local circumstances. School community hubs rely on place-driven as opposed to one-size-fits-all approaches. School community hubs are best customised and tailored to the needs and specificities of each school and its local community. School community hubs usually evolve incrementally, starting off with a single identified need to which a system level response is made and evolving as new needs present and solutions are devised. There are three main groups that schools as community hubs seek to serve: students who are usually at the centre; families, and the local community. School community hubs can also yield beneficial outcomes for teachers and the school. The most often cited outcomes or benefits from school community hub initiatives reported to have been achieved to date in Australia for each group are identified in the diagram below. Figure 1 Most often cited outcomes or benefits of Australian School Community Hub Initiatives as of 2012 Parents and care givers Improved parent/teacher relationships Reduced social isolation Parental capacity building Fostering reciprocity Increased services accessibility School and Staff Improved reputation Increased parent advocates Reduction in school vandalism Enabling teaching Ability to be proactive Teacher skills development Increased school attendance Improved confidence Children Improvement in future prospects Increased educational outcomes Increased engagement in learning Improved behaviour Learning life skills/social skills development Community/Economy Increased access to services Reduction in social inequality Community development Facilitation of parental employment, local business opportunities and economic growth Teacher attraction/retention Greater school pride Generation of resources for the school/volunteers Source: TNS Australia, 2012:16 9

10 What services might a school community hub provide? A wide range of services can be included in school community hubs. The range of services associated with a school community hub can and does vary enormously, as it depends on the needs to be addressed. No single school looks exactly the same as another. Most communities differ from others in terms of available resources, the capacity of its potential community partners and the barriers to learning that impact on educational outcomes. For instance, student engagement, parenting skills and health and wellbeing needs may all play a role to a greater or lesser extent in preventing students from achieving academically from one community to another. Therefore there are no standard activities or programs when rolling out a school community hub. Over defining what services are to be provided and how will impede the natural evolution of the hub and its ability to adapt to changing needs (TNS Australia, 2012: 11.) The table below outlines the services that may be included in school community hubs towards achieving the outcomes described previously. Table 2 School community hub possible service areas and examples Learning Health and wellbeing Culture Sports, fitness, leisure recreation Community engagement Core learning services Tutoring, Mentoring Homework, Reading and spelling clubs General health Dental care services Optical care services Mental and psychological services Nutrition Clubs etc. Speech therapy Gender Ethnicity Disability Dance Music Theatre Ethnic cuisine Ethnic community Language culture and religion The arts Games Community events Outdoor adventure Day care services Disability services Counselling Vocational training Adult education Accommodation and housing Commercial services Source: TNS Australia,

11 The diagram below provides a summary of the core and variable services that characterised extended service schooling provision in Australia in Figure 2 Core and variable services of school community hubs in Australia as of 2012 Variations Youth workers on staff Student housing Childcare and preschool programs On-site health service Work experience sites TAFE and VET Programs Psychology services Speech pathology services Core Services Literacy and numeracy programs Open access to school and community facilities Individual case management and referral services Recreational activities and vocational learning Online learning options Evening classes for adults Transport services Mentoring and tutoring Outdoor adventure Case management for young people not attending school Classes to reintegrate early school leavers Alternative curriculum including part-time community based projects Source: Foundation for Young Australians, 2012:6. 11

12 A results-based approach is best To help guide community hub efforts in schools a disciplined way of thinking and taking action is required. The activities and services of the community hub need to be driven by an outcome focus that ultimately leads to improvement in the learning, health and wellbeing of children and young people. While in the initial stages the community hub may have one or two services, over time the activities may grow to many. There can be a risk of engaging in the wrong services if a results-based focus is not adhered to. A results-based approach starts with ends and works backwards, step by step, to means. In the United States, the Coalition for Community Schools promotes the use of a logic model. The community schools logic model illustrates the intended results and activities linked to them. An illustrative example of a community school logic model is provided in the figure below. Increasingly, experienced community schools monitor the impact that their activities have on children, families and the local community, and the school itself, by developing both short-term and long-term results and by specifying indicators to measure movement on each one. Figure 3 A sample results based framework: The Community Schools Logic Model of the USA Inputs What can happen at a community school? Outputs Short-term Results (proximal) Long-term results (distal) Impact Community School coordinator Sufficient staff (expertise + availability) Sufficient resources (e.g. funding, facilities) Available/relevant partners Leadership & initiative level infrastructure Family engagement (e.g. adult education) Extended learning opportunities/youth development Health, mental health, and social services; family support Available/relevant partners Leadership & initiative level infrastructure Support from schools and community Supported families Comprehensive learning support Integrated academic enrichment and social services to support children s intellectual,social, emotional and physical development Available/relevant partners Children are ready to enter school Students attend school consistently Students are actively involved in learning and their community Families are increasingly involved in their children s education Students succeed academically Students are healthy: physically, socially and emotionally Students live & learn in a safe, supportive and stable environment Students graduate ready for college, careers and citizenship Support from schools and community Support from schools and community Leadership & initiative level infrastructure Schools are engaged with families and communities Communities are desirable places to live Your Planned Work Your Intended Results Source: 12

13 Monitoring and evaluation of Australian schools as community hubs Most of the Australian case study schools offering extended services included in the research undertaken in through a national partnerships agreement were reported to have adopted a relatively informal approach to evaluation. The case study schools identified as challenging the identification of the right measures to use and how best to collect data on these measures. School staff do not necessarily hold the relevant skills to design suitable measures and reporting mechanisms. The need to identify small wins along the way was also stressed towards the longerterm results being sought that take some time to show up in data (TNS Australia, 2012). The outcomes previously mentioned are based on anecdotal and observational methodologies in the main but a robust evidence base is growing (eg, ACER, 2013). The measurement of outcomes of community hubs needs to be woven into the regular review practice of schools. What might a community hub at a school look like? There is not a one-size-fits-all model regarding how school community hubs work in practice. It will depend on local circumstances as to which model or combinations of models are used. Flexibility in implementation to achieve customisation is a considered necessity. There are therefore variations in the models applied and they are often individually tailored to achieve the best outcomes (TNS Australia, 2012). Services provision models A school community hub aims to make available to members of the school community a range of services that they value and that will strengthen the developmental and educational outcomes for children and young people. To be noted is that the services may be provided in-house within the school or the school may be a source of information and access to services that are available in the community. That is, while the locus is the school not all services associated with the community hub necessarily have to be school-based; some may be school-linked as the diagram below seeks to show. The service provision possibilities include as follows: School-based hub model Services are delivered within the school site as represented in the diagram by the pink coloured nodes labelled 1. Hub and spoke model Services are delivered at/or hosted in partnership with other services at several locations in the same locality. These services are offered at sites that are close to the school site and can be accessed easily. These services are represented in the diagram overleaf by the blue coloured nodes labelled 2. Multiple site model A group of school sites where each delivers an agreed range of services on behalf of the cluster. This refers to multiple sites offering complementary services and located within a considerably close range of each other. These services are represented in the diagram overleaf by the green coloured nodes labelled 3. 13

14 Virtual model This describes situations where some services are located at extensive distances from the main school site but can be accessed via the school. These services are represented in the diagram below by the yellow coloured nodes labelled 4. Figure 4 Schools as community hubs - how services may be provided Legend Services within Services co-located Outreach nearby 4 Outreach further 14

15 Partnership models The central challenge of extended schooling is legitimacy it is about engaging with a community, and with the other agencies inside the community, in a manner that invites their participation, ownership, even leadership. Simply dictating will miss the point entirely, however cost effective, rigorous and integrated these services are (Craig et al, 2004:2). As has been described, the aim of the school community hub is to bring together a range of community partners from the local area to extend the range of services provided to its student population and the wider community. School community hubs rely on partnership formation. There is a large body of literature on partnering. Most of the literature suggests that partnering falls along a continuum, from autonomy at one end, through cooperation to coordination to collaboration and to integration at the other end. The continuum concept reflects degrees of power sharing between collaborators that progresses to increasing levels of trust, increasingly shared common values, increasingly shared purpose as well as the sharing of control. Table 3 The partnering continuum Not integration Integration a continuum from cooperative through to full integration Autonomy Co-operation Co-ordination Collaboration Integration Low trust Weak focus Individual control & values Low commitment Medium commitment High commitment High commitment High level of trust Strong focus Shared control Shared values Source: Adapted from Queensland Department of Education, Training and Employment table p2 The 3Cs: Cooperation, Coordination and Collaboration are of particular interest regarding schools as community hubs. Their characteristics are outlined in the table below. Exploring the features of the 3Cs highlights their different purposes, the level of integration between the participants and the contributions required of participants in the relationship. The challenge for practitioners is to match the type of joint working relationship with the identified purpose or required outcome of their project or program. 15

16 Table 4 Characteristics of the 3Cs: Cooperation, Coordination and Collaboration Cooperation Coordination Collaboration Loose connections, low trust Tacit information sharing Ad hoc communiction flows Independent goals Adapting to each other or accommodating others actions and goals Power remains with organisation Commitment and accountability to own organisation Relational timeframe short Low risk/low reward Medium connections, workbased trust Structured communication flows, formalised project-based information sharing Joint policies, programs and aligned resources Semi-interdependent goals Power remains with parent organisations Commitment and accountability to parent organisation and project Relational timeframe mediumbased on prior projects Dense interdependent connections, high trust Frequent communication Tactical information sharing System change Pooled, collective resources Negotiated shared goals Power is shared between organisations Commitment and accountability to network first and community and parent organisation Relational timeframe long term (3 years) High risk/high reward Source: Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (2009) If the goal is sharing information or expertise and adjusting actions, cooperative effort should be sufficient. Alternatively, if alignment of resources and activities is needed to achieve joint actions, then coordination becomes the appropriate mode. In this way, both cooperation and coordination are essentially about operating as normal but more efficiently. However, if working as usual is no longer sufficient, or the problem is so intractable that total systems change and innovation is required, collaboration is necessary. The evidence suggests that the strongest outcomes from schools as community hubs are produced in contexts where there is a history of collaboration. Documenting where schools and their potential partners are at regarding the three Cs can form the basis of a conversation (Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth (2009). Overall a key point to be made about partnerships is that they require participants to engage in partnership work that can be understood as having five dimensions (see Table 4 below). The cultures of the school and social care sectors can be so different that staff can struggle to find an agreed approach. Settings that show the greatest success are those in which collaboration is guided by mutual benefit, mutual respect, agreed purposes and processes, shared goals and targets, a common terminology and a clearly articulated conceptual framework or set of protocols which is understood and supported at all levels of the collaboration. 16

17 Table 5 Five dimensions of partnership work Cultural-scoping Connection-building Capacity-building Collective work Trust-building work Building shared purposes and goals involves identifying the partners interests and concerns, and developing a framework for collectively realising goals. Maintaining involves the partners actively reflecting upon, reviewing and revising goals, identifying achievements, and renewing commitment. Building relations with partners involves building trust and commitment, encouraging participation, and developing inclusive and respectful processes. Maintaining involves endorsing and consolidating existing relationships, recognising partners contributions, and facilitating new and strategic relationships. Building capacities for partnership work involves engaging partners in the collective work of the partnership, through identifying and accessing resources to assist in realising goals And developing the infrastructure and resources needed to achieve goals. Maintaining involves securing and maintaining partners who engage effectively with both community and external sponsors, managing the infrastructure required to support staff and partners and avoiding the negative consequences of burnout and high staff turnover. Collective work involves building partnership governance and leadership workable guidelines and procedures for collaborative action. Maintaining involves developing and supporting close relations and communication between partners, and effective leadership and by recognising achievements and seeking opportunities to demonstrate achievement. Building trust and trustworthiness involves establishing processes that engage and inform partners, and which encourage cooperation and collaboration. Maintaining involves focusing on partners needs and expectations, and ensuring that differing needs are recognised and addressed. Source Billet et al, 2005 Partnerships involve shifting from isolated impact to collective impact that requires the following skills. Table 6 Skills required for collective impact Skill set & role Convening leaders Strong facilitative leaders Stakeholder engagement experts Process experts Content experts Inclusive thinkers Disciplined systems/processes Who / What/ How Crucial for success have the energy and vision to mobilise others to participate can get everyone in the room, see possibility and engage others in the task ahead Crucial group lead at all levels servant : meditative : adaptive : collaborative : transformational leadership strong leadership of the process; sticking with it when there is disagreement, tension, confusion or frustration Ability to skillfully apply public participation principles so that people understand how decisions are made and are informed about the process undertaken to make decisions Committed to collaborative governance, help to reach consensus and ownership of outcomes Supply good credible information and data Remember to include the right people in the right conversations Willingness to apply proven best practice management and other systems & process good practice & disciplines Source: Dawn O Neil & Associates presentation to DECD 20 September 2013 adapted from The collaborative leadership fieldbook by David D Chrislip. 17

18 Governance models We need governance structures that go as far as we can imagine towards breaking down institutional barriers and silos, and we need to find a new balance between central authority and local community decision-making that tilts power more to the latter (Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2010:58). The following two elements are important for consideration when implementing governance of schools as community hubs: Steering committee/management group The steering committee/management group should comprise all relevant stakeholders who have a vested interest in the success of the project and in acknowledgement that learning and education are the responsibility of the community as a whole and not schools alone. The group could include for example, parents, school leaders, community leaders, key service providers and government representatives. All these members will then have an opportunity and a responsibility to be heard and participate constructively in establishing all policies and procedures necessary to support the success of the project (Smith Family, 2010). Dedicated leadership It is important to identify a specific person or agency to drive the initiative and organise, direct and coordinate all activities to do with the hub. This will ensure that measures are being taken to actualise the project objectives. It will also foster accountability for what has or has not yet been achieved. (The Smith Family, 2010). Three possibilities include: The school as leader: The school certainly needs to be involved but it is not always necessary or desirable for the school to be identified as the facilitator or driver of community hubs. A partner might do this. Combined or shared leadership by a school and another agency in cluster arrangements: To allow a greater range of provision in a local geographic area by way of each school or agency having agreed roles/ responsibilities for particular hub activities on behalf of all members in the cluster partnership. Leadership by a partner agency: The lead agency model recognises that a school has limited resources or expertise in relation to partnership development and management. The model requires the lead agency to coordinate with key stakeholders, partners and/or existing committees in the school region and surrounding areas to enhance local strategies, forge new networks and partnerships, if required, and leverage community and school assets to achieve project outcomes. The lead agency acts as the intermediary between the partnering community and government agencies, businesses and health services and the school itself, reducing the burden of partnership development and management on the school. In Victoria the Smith Family has been the lead agency on some extended school community hubs (The Smith Family 2012 and 2010). 18

19 Figure 5 Partner as the leader model for schools as community hubs The Community School The Smith Family The School The Lead Agency Community Partners (Including agencies, business and others) Source: The Smith Family 2012 A partnership coordinator: A similar mechanism to the third party broker is the appointment of a partnership coordinator. Case studies of Australian schools developing extended services community hubs reveal that funding was most often used for an individual in a co-ordinator role to do the partnership work. A coordinator position was noted as highly beneficial to success and sustainability of the hub. In most cases, the co-ordinator role was not a fulltime position: it ranged from 0.2 to 0.4 full-time equivalent. In some cases schools utilised relationships with partner organisations to gain access to a co-ordinator and by increasing a specific part-time role in the school that was already externally funded (eg, a chaplain on site 0.8 FTE instead of 0.4 FTE). Victoria s extended school hubs field trials each had a partnership coordinator located at the school (TNS Australia, 2012). 19

20 What are the barriers and enablers of schools as community hubs? According to an Australia-wide survey on extended service school models conducted in 2012 (TNS Australia, 2012), and various research papers such as one conducted by the Royal Children s Hospital Centre, (2012) the following are the key barriers and their corresponding enablers when implementing school community hubs. Table 7 Barriers and enablers of schools as community hubs Barriers Inadequate funding Shortages of funds to support the extended services are often raised as a challenge. Funds are often pegged on projects that run out once concluded. Inadequate physical and human resources There could arise a shortage in the physical space at the school required to provide all the services needed to children and their families/communities. Additionally, there could be a strain on the personnel available to provide and coordinate the services. Governance There are challenges in determining the personnel to take the lead in execution of SCHs, the best way to engage service providers, how best to coordinate activities, how to respond to issues arising and how to sustain reliable service delivery. Lack of a needs-based approach The services provided should be based on the actual needs of the community as reported and observed in the community as opposed to what is considered best suited for the community by external parties. Insufficient focus on vision and purpose Lack of a clear and commonly shared vision and purpose for the SCHs from the outset could lead to a deviation from the desired outcomes of the project. Mismatch between skills and needs There could arise differences between the assessed needs in a given community and the actual services available to address these needs therefore creating an undesirable gap. Failure to adequately engage service users The SCHs project can only achieve its desired outcomes if there is adequate service uptake by the targeted service users. Legislation/policy barriers to working together There could be instances where there are laws or policies in place that prohibit certain agencies from collaborating in such a set up as proposed by SCHs. Enablers Multiplicity and consistency of funding services There should be consistent funding to the project and preferably with various sources of funds as this enhances reliability. Appropriate physical and human resources There is a need to have dedicated physical spaces within the school that supports the long-term focus of the model and enabled spaces for partners. Leadership There should be committed leadership to the vision of SCHs. The leadership needs to effectively coordinate all activities associated with the project and solve any issues arising in a timely manner. Engaging the community This is considered important so as to understand the community and its needs, identifying and building relationships with key community advocates. A committed school and community Success of the project is pegged to having a school culture that is committed to the success and sustainability of the project. There needs to be a shared belief in the purpose and a collaboration of efforts to ensure that all the children, their families and the communities can flourish. Forming meaningful partnerships This involves the ability to find and form partnerships as well as continually evolve and refine them for joint achievement of common goals. Genuine commitment to participation and sharing All parties involved should be open to sharing relevant information, knowledge, space and resources that will enable actualisation of the intended outcomes. A broader systems thinking approach The type of system includes the extent of government involvement and the existence of an enabling policy framework to support the project. 20

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