Cross-sector coordination is at the heart of LEAD. Most social problems are more complex than any one entity can address by itself. Recognizing this, LEAD uses a form of structured collaboration – called collective impact – in which diverse stakeholders commit to a common agenda to solve a complex problem.
Even in communities that have developed an array of first responders options – police officers, crisis intervention teams, co-responder programs, or non-police alternatives – the question often remains: after the first response, what do we do next? (This is often phrased as “divert to what?”)
Changing complex, entrenched social systems to achieve better outcomes requires patience, commitment, and persistence. It also requires questioning long-standing beliefs about how we tackle common problems and making room for the insights generated by many diverse points of view.
To create more effective alternatives, LEAD reorganizes existing stakeholders into collaborative systems. With LEAD, community stakeholders – officers, health agencies, community-based service providers, elected and appointed officials, advocacy groups, businesses, and interested residents – work together to build an effective, coordinated second response, one that reorganizes existing pieces and adds others to identify and address the needs of LEAD participants.
This is why LEAD can serve as a universally accessible and valuable second response to foster comprehensive systemic change, no matter what the first response landscape looks like in a particular community.