Collaboration is the process of working across agency and professional lines towards shared goals and objectives. The degree of connection, integration and partnership between different professionals and agencies can vary from one collaborative effort to the next. The level of involvement is often dictated by the purpose and complexity of collaboration and the shared goals.
A primary strategy in delivering human services, collaboration holds great potential in leveraging the resources, knowledge and expertise in a fragmented system. Collaboration has the potential to help agencies respond to complex social problems under ever increasing budget pressures, demand for efficiency and a rising public demand for services. Although a promising practice, and increasingly on the rise, the majority of collaborations do not succeed. Sustained and successful collaboration requires continues evaluation and assessment of the structure, process and outcome of collaboration.