The existing Catoosa Family Collaborative grew from three previous partnerships. Both the Pre-K Program and the Crossroads Academy Alternative School had community committees. Realizing that most of the same people were involved in both collaborative endeavors, these two merged into one. At the same time, a social services agency collaborative had been meeting separately. After several years of co-existing, these groups joined forces, applied for, and received the first Family Connection grant in 1997. That enabled them to hire a full-time coordinator and begin expanding. There have only been two coordinators in the history of the Catoosa Family Collaborative.
In 1997, only 12 people attended the August monthly Family Collaborative meeting. For the meetings in 2011, the collaborative has an average attendance of 60. There is an email list of over 340 partners with 80+ separate entities represented. A “Collaborative Partner Announcements” email is sent out by the coordinator every Friday to inform the community about events and activities of interest from collaborative partners. Each meeting includes a monthly emphasis and speaker with a brief presentation of resources available to members. We encourage each strategy team to meet monthly to network and review how their strategies are progressing. In addition to Strategy Teams, other committees evolved to form around programs. These include the Catoosa Alcohol Prevention Initiative, Catoosa Citizens for Literacy, Prevent Child Abuse Catoosa Council, Catoosa Organization Acting in Disaster (COAD), Seamless Summer Planning Team, WIN Georgia and special committees for community-wide events. That method has been successful in accomplishing a wide variety of programs and activities.