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Service integration is a public policy strategy that brings together many services for highly disadvantaged persons, refashions the delivery of those services to meet individual needs, and increases the possibility of long-term success. Literacy training is an appropriate centerpiece for service integration because it contributes to the long-term self-sufficiency of individuals and families, thus meeting the strategy's central objective. Two service integration models that employ literacy training in a central role involve skills training and employment preparation and the development of parenting and child development skills. Service integration designed around literacy training can contribute to the following: (1) increased understanding of literacy issues among human service providers; (2) informal literacy training in many service contexts; (3) new opportunities to ground literacy instruction in real life applications; and (4) improvements in the capacity of human service agencies to serve persons who have previously failed to achieve literacy goals. Barriers to service integration include the following: the categorical structure underlying authorizations of public funds for literacy training and related services; a lack of experience and training on the part of literacy professionals to create and administer the necessary programmatic arrangements; and the need for extensive planning and ongoing collaboration at many levels of the participating organizations. (Contains 19 references.) (Author/YLB)

Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Agency Cooperation, Basic Skills, Child Rearing, Cooperative Programs, Coordination, Disadvantaged, Human Services, Job Training, Literacy Education, Models, Parent Education, Parenting Skills

National Center on Adult Literacy, Dissemination/Publications, 3910 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-3111 ($5; check or money order payable to Kinko's Copy Center).

Autor: Reisner, Elizabeth R.


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