Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


This Minnesota study was intended to obtain, describe, and analyze legislator, state commissioner, and local service providing agency director perceptions of the change strategies and processes which might permit integrated delivery systems and services to increase and improve services to children and families. The specific research questions asked were (1) How do the policymakers and stakeholders perceive the issues which led to the 1990 legislative initiative in Minnesota? (2) Are there consensual perceptions among the policymakers regarding these issues? (3) What are the policymaker and stakeholder perceptions regarding the efficacy of certain (a) change strategies and (b) change processes? Are there differences in perception by role?

A survey instrument was developed to obtain perceptions. The instrument was mailed to a sample of local service providers in a specific region of Minnesota, to legislative leaders, and to state agency commissioners. From the responses, the writer found that all respondents, regardless of role, tend to be critical of the current delivery systems, tend to agree on the nature of the problems, and tend to agree that changes must occur if programs, services, and systems are to focus on children and their families.

Recommendations for practice include: (1) The Minnesota legislature should establish a statewide interactive planning strategy for problem solving; (2) the executive and legislative branches of Minnesota state government should integrate their efforts, planning strategies, and resources to increase and improve services; (3) the comprehensive and coherent state policies, interactively created, should include clearly defined expectations of stakeholders at all levels of involvement; (4) the policies, at all levels of involvement, should include implementation flexibility, discretionary authority, and assessment and intervention mechanisms; (5) the state policies should provide widespread citizen involvement in designing a single local governance body (similar to locally elected school boards) to manage all aspects of individual and community well-being; and (6) the local care providers should begin an internal examination of specific child and family needs not being met, and commence interaction across local delivery systems. The dissertation concludes with recommendations for further research.