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Families and care providers know that children and youth with special needs are best served through a coordinated approach across the myriad programs and agencies that touch them. Yet states face frustrating structural, operational, financial, regulatory, and cultural challenges to breaking down traditional silos to achieve interagency, cross-sector collaboration. New reports from Health Management Associates highlights how six programs in five states have made progress in overcoming these barriers. These reports, one California-specific and one national, offer recommendations on how states might foster efforts to improve communication and coordination across programs and reduce fragmentation and duplication of services.

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Families of children with special needs depend on an extensive array of services, often supported by public agencies. At the state level, these agencies—including health,...