Friday, September 12, 2008

Partnerships

A common theme lately has been the need for partnerships in service delivery. I'm continually amazed by our failure to work in partnership with surrounding services - and in many cases even other Salvation Army services. Of course there are plenty of exceptions where numerous partnerships are working well and have been established for a long time, but this is still an area in which we can and must do much better.

There are some questions that need to be asked about how we partner and who we partner with: Does the partnering organisation share the same kind of values as The Salvation Army? Are they able to work with our client group? Can they fulfill the service needs that we require? Yet these are just the kinds of questions we need to ask more of. As much as we'd like to, we cannot be all things to all people - and need not be. Everything we do takes place in the context of a particular community and we need to acknowledge the benefits for those we work with that can arise through good partnerships.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

from experience if we partner with the wrong people we prostitute ourselves I have seen this happen and we end up bowing to people who do not share our values, our mission or love the people we are called to serve.

Very bad consequences - if we partner it leaves us vulnerable to many things and most of all often a bad reputation...

JDK said...

Thanks Anon for your comment. I agree that we need to be careful about this, but I don't think we're even prompting the questions enough. Surely concern about our reputation isn't the factor that is blocking more partnerships between corps and social programs, corps and neighbouring corps, Employment Plus, Family Stores, etc. As I've said there are a few places where this is happening well, but I reall don't think it's the norm. I just don't think that partnering enters our mindset often enough.

Regards, JDK