Building and Sustaining Community Partnerships for Teen Pregnancy Prevention: A Working Paper. 2. Relationship between Residents & Professionals


Creating relationships of equality between residents and professionals is particularly challenging. Residents' inexperience may make them reluctant to assume leadership roles.(108) In other cases, the disparity between individuals members of partnerships and those who are representatives of organizations creates problems.(109) Establishing separate resident groups, conducting training workshops, and providing on-going mentoring and support to residents are helpful in building their capacity to plan and govern.(110) Involving all participants from the beginning in creation of the partnership is also noted as important.(111) Residents need opportunities for authentic input.(112) Over time in many partnerships, professionals shift from a leadership to a support role in relation to residents.(113) This shift is seldom fully realized and appears to be facilitated by extensive community development efforts in the neighborhood.(114) However, this shift-viewing residents as potential partners with assets and expertise rather than as clients with problems to be solved-is the essence of community empowerment and a goal in many partnerships.(115)