Many major social problems – poverty, low education levels, crime, and a host of health issues, including alcohol and substance use disorders – are frequently interrelated and often reinforce and compound each other. Yet, in the U.S. we tend to treat those problems individually in isolation from the others. The public sector often does this through large bureaucratic silos, while the not-for-profit sector – a large part of which focuses on alleviating social problems – is incredibly fragmented. While many good programs and services do exist, we have generally not done a good job connecting them. We tend to be program-rich and systems-poor, and siloed and fragmented approaches to complex problems frequently fail to result in lasting impact.
In Toward Greater Impact, author Jim McClelland draws on decades of first-hand experiences and describes a path to connect some of the many good programs and services that do exist in a more holistic, often whole family approach that can help reduce a variety of social problems, improve lives, and make more effective use of existing resources.