Brookings: MD Approach to Local Children/Family Services is a Model

A report from the Brookings Institution, Budgeting to Promote Social Objectives – a Primer on Braiding and Blending, highlights the intergovernmental and interdisciplinary approach in Maryland among its models for successful delivery of family services. Learn about county-level Local Management Boards at MACo’s Winter Conference.

From the Brookings website:

In “Budgeting to promote social objectives – A primer on braiding and blending”, Stuart Butler, Marcela Cabello and Timothy Higashi describe examples of the many ways government at different levels actually does permit the “braiding” and “blending” of public funds to pursue broad objectives, such as better children’s health or improved housing. The authors review dozens of examples and techniques used to promote collaborative budgeting, such as intermediary bodies to foster agency cooperation, providing better information on budget flexibility to subsidiary governments, the use of waivers, and improved data sharing.

However, the authors conclude In their report that much more could and should be done by government at all levels to encourage greater agency and budgetary collaboration, including:

  • States should use the model of Children’s Cabinets, Local Management Boards (Maryland), and the Children’s Services Act (Virginia) to expand opportunities for agencies to combine funds and plan jointly. States should also foster greater budget collaboration at the local level by making creative use of federal waivers and by assisting with such steps as data use agreements.

The full report on children’s services and model approaches can be found online on the Brookings website.

A full session on “The ABCs of LMBs” will be featured on Wednesday afternoon at the upcoming MACo Winter Conference.

MACo’s Winter Conference, “Hit the Ground Running,” will be held at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD from January 4-6, 2023 (with a pre-conference orientation for new county officials on January 3). 

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference: 


Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties