Setting clear expectations for all involved can form a solid platform on which to build a partnership. For example, service contracts in Washington outline the services to be provided by contract agencies and the populations to be served. Further, by basing payments on performance outcomes, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services clearly communicates its expectations of its service contractors. Contracts also clarify how long clients may be engaged in services and the reporting requirements of the contract agency.
As mentioned earlier, the formal memoranda of understanding used in Nevada establish clear expectations on the parts of the agencies involved. By putting in writing the list of services to be provided or functions to be carried out by each organization, agency managers in Nevada clarified for each other, and the staff in local offices, what was to be expected. While these expectations were written at a broad level and did not replace the need to establish local operating procedures, they did give staff the foundation on which to build referral and reporting procedures.