The departments of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Education (DoEd) have reaffirmed the federal government outreach of religious and community groups seeking partnerships with the federal government to obtain support and further resources.
Forming partnerships with public and private groups and making connections with federal and private funders can help faith-based groups obtain federal dollars
The Obama administration formed the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (FBNP) to encourage partnerships between federal agencies and faith-based and neighborhood organizations, with a goal of fostering interfaith cooperation and service. The new administration has not updated White House page, but both HHS and DoEd have active pages that provide information on the effort.
Improvements in public-private partnerships include cultivating key players in the community, a tactic necessary for support and positive public perception. Partners need to adapt to changing conditions and resources in order to take advantage of federal, state and local funding.
The HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the department’s liaison to the faith community and grassroots organizations, recently confirmed its commitment to secular and faith-based nonprofits and community organizations. The Partnership Center is a mechanism for the department to engage and communicate with the faith community and grassroots organizations, ensuring that local institutions that hold community trust have up-to-date information regarding health and human service activities and resources in their area.
Through the Center, HHS said it will work to build partnerships with community and faith-based organizations, which help HHS serve individuals, families, and communities in need. The Partnership Center works in collaboration with HHS agencies to extend the reach and impact of HHS programs into communities as well as to encourage faith-based and community organizations in their work.
The new goals of the center outlined by HHS Secy. Tom Price are:
- Making the health care system work;
- Addressing the opioid crisis;
- Reducing childhood obesity; and
- Addressing serious mental illness.
Additionally, Price challenged the center to seek out and remove barriers to full and active engagement by the faith-based community and to champion religious liberty in all HHS programs and initiatives.
Shannon Royce, the new center director, echoed those priorities (https://goo.gl/xTZ5wu).
“That help can come from faith-based and community partners just like you. Let us know what is effective in your community as we work together to build best practices,” she says. “We’ll be reaching out to you and welcome the opportunity to hear from you.”
The HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships may be reached at (202) 358-3595 and by email at partnerships@HHS.gov; on Twitter: @jcnjmama (https://goo.gl/bNxiLz) and the Center @PartnersforGood (https://goo.gl/KB7AxB).