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"Partnerships" refers to the ways families and service providers interact. Partnerships include relationships: (1) between families (including the person with a disability) and service providers; (2) among service providers themselves in a single agency; (3) within a system (e.g., the educational or health system), and (4) among or across different systems. The term “partnerships” stretches to fit all the common elements that researchers and practitioners refer to as "parent involvement," "coordination," "collaboration," and "service integration." Partnerships also occur in the context of "teams" - interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary teams serving individual families or persons with disabilities, or in interagency planning teams or councils working together to improve services at the community, state, or national level. We conceptualize Partnerships as having two components: relationship or interpersonal and structural or administrative.

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