Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont, Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) Children’s Home Society of NC, Family Services of the Piedmont, Family Success Center, Good Will, Greensboro Housing Authority, Guilford Child Development (Head Start/Early Head Start), New Arrivals Institute, Reading Connections, Boys and Girls Club of Greensboro, Senior Resources of Guilford, The Salvation Army Center of Hope, YMCA of Greensboro, YWCA of Greensboro

COMMUNITY PROBLEM: Families are not aware of many resources available in the community and not successful in accessing needed services. Service providers need the ability to communicate with other agencies about family’s needs (with appropriate consents) to coordinate services.

CHALLENGE GOAL: Develop an Electronic Referral Network that establishes referral reliability and provides HIPAA (and FERPA) protected communications among agencies.

READY/READY FRAMEWORK ELEMENT ADDRESSED: RESPONSIVE & INNOVATIVE EARLY CHILDHOOD SYSTEM > Aligned & Accountable Policies & Programs > Effective coordination and referral network

PERSPECTIVES ENGAGED: Families and direct service providers through focus groups; Family Success Center partner organizations; United Ways of N.C. and Greater Greensboro (for alignment with 2-1-1); Say Yes to Education (for alignment); Decision Dynamics, Inc., (system developer).


  1. Defined the local problem. Families and direct service providers shared feedback about the reliability of referrals and the need for protected communications network.
  2. Assessed fit and capacity of local efforts. The Family Success Center in Greensboro (“one stop shop” for workforce development services) is addressing the need for a reliable referral system and protected communications across organizations.
  3. Identified powerful strategies to target root causes. Data system for appropriate data sharing among service providers and with families; modeled after Greenville DMCN Health System (of South Carolina) and Nurse Family Partnership data systems.
  4. Anticipate and address implementation barriers. Building readiness among providers who will use the system; trainings, convening partners.
  5. Launch changes. Pilot program is underway. 


  • Bringing together 15 organizations to launch an electronic referral network that makes effective connections: (1) families-to-agency; and (2) agency-to-agency.


  1. Evaluate data and use Action Learning Process to determine how system is working on the ground from perspectives of families, participating service providers and leaders.
  2. Develop shared consent form and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) to address how data will be shared.
  3. Evaluate pilot and determine how to bring new partners into system. What agencies and organizations in Guilford County would benefit from joining? How could the data system interface with 2-1-1 systems/process and other systems with goal of improved services for families and children?