CADRE delivers technical assistance and information support to Office of Special Education Programs, state education agencies, Lead Agencies (typically state health agencies), the National and Regional Parent Technical Assistance Centers, and individual federally-funded parent centers in order to:
Ø Assist states in adopting effective dispute resolution approaches
Ø Improve effective management of state dispute resolution systems
Ø Improve dispute resolution skills of practitioners, parents, and school and provider staff
This assistance is intended to result in:
Ø Improved state dispute resolution system compliance and performance
Ø Increased use of early dispute resolution processes
Ø Decreased use of expensive and adversarial dispute resolution processes
To achieve these purposes, CADRE’s work is organized around a number of objectives, including:
1. Organizing and developing knowledge about effective dispute resolution systems, methods and approaches
2. Providing intensive technical assistance to selected states, including states that have been identified by OSEP, to help them successfully meet their State Performance Plan targets and improve their dispute resolution systems
3. Rendering targeted technical assistance to states and parent centers to help improve practices, to maximize effective participation in dispute prevention and resolution, and to improve technical assistance system management
4. Supporting knowledge utilization through information dissemination activities that reach the broadest possible audience
As a small specialty center serving a large footprint, to include all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the territories, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the Department of Defense, CADRE has developed robust partnerships that leverage the resources of organizational and governmental partners, ensuring the broadest possible access to practices that are promising and supported by evaluative data. Along with its own nationally recognized staff, CADRE draws on the expertise of an outstanding group of consultants and advisors. The challenge of providing technical assistance to a large number of entities with limited staffing and resources has required CADRE to think creatively and to use technology to disseminate emerging, innovative, and effective practices.
A core component of CADRE’s intensive technical assistance services is its approach to dispute resolution systems integration and performance enhancement and the Management System Model that accompanies it (see Figure 2), which is used in conjunction with the CADRE Continuum. CADRE’s management model is broken into four function areas:
Oversight: This function includes the elements of system design; relevant statutes, regulations, policies, and procedures; stakeholder involvement; and the materials and procedures used to request a particular practice, track activity, communicate with participants and practitioners, and collect data related to use and outcomes.
Professional Standards: This function includes the elements related to identification, selection, training, and professional development of professional staff and practitioners, which include employees of state and lead agencies, employees of the organizations with which they contract, and the neutrals providing or conducting the processes.
Awareness & Outreach: This function includes the elements related to materials, resources, and activities utilized by the consumers of dispute resolution processes, including general information on the available dispute resolution options in a state, both required and optional; resources intended to describe parent and student rights; guidance provided to parents or others to help them prepare a request for any dispute resolution process; and materials for and related to preparing for and participating in any dispute resolution process.
Evaluation: This function includes the elements related to procedures, materials, activities, and results of dispute resolution activities including methods, feedback, and customer satisfaction forms, reports, summaries, and documents that display data or provide analyses of dispute resolution activity including patterns of use or trends, and practitioner and process evaluations; and recommendations for changes in practice drawn from the analyses, such as reports of adopted changes in practice or policy as well as documentation focusing on whether dispute resolution processes result in changes that are durable, improve parent-provider relationships, or other impacts.
CADRE has integrated these two models, the Continuum and the Management System Model, and has created an online, searchable repository of items related to the design, implementation, delivery, and evaluation of dispute resolution services. This Resource Showcase houses over 700 individual resources related to the entire range of dispute resolution practices, from Stage I Prevention activities through the required options found in the Procedural Safeguards, which are used throughout the various functions and elements of a high-performing dispute resolution system: www.directionservice.org/cadre/exemplar/matrix.cfm .