Government agencies are increasingly interested in reaching out to and partnering with faith communities to address the needs of local communities. The push for partnerships between government and religion began with the Charitable Choice provision in President Clinton’s Welfare Reform legislation in 1996. The George W. Bush administration organized these efforts under the Office of Faith-based Initiatives, which then became the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships under the Obama administration.
Washington’s emphasis on empowering local faith community efforts has increased at the same time that government budgets for social services and the safety net have dwindled. This means that government initiatives can lack the resources to ensure that their work moves from outreach to partnership. CRCC researches and consults with both faith groups and government agencies in order to understand how to facilitate meaningful collaboration on some of the nation’s most pressing social problems.
Photo Credit: Harshil Shah
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“On the ground, we’ve seen that even when public officials are willing to work with these groups, the law often gets in the way of the aspirations and plans of these congregations and organizations to contribute more to the welfare of their communities.”
—Brie Loskota and Richard Flory
“Do Government Regulations Get in the Way of Doing Good After a Disaster?”
To schedule an interview with one of our experts, please contact CRCC:
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- Richard FloryExecutive DirectorRichard Flory is a sociologist whose work focuses on religion and urban life, religious and cultural change, and youth and young adults.
- Brie LoskotaContributing FellowBrie Loskota researches how religions change and make change in the world, and works to build the capacity of religious communities around the globe.
- John B. OrrCo-founder & Past FellowJohn B. Orr has worked extensively in the fields of religion, education and politics.
- Nadia RoumaniContributing FellowNadia Roumani has worked with a wide range of organizations over the past decade to better understand the needs of Muslim communities across the United States.
- Rebecca SagerContributing FellowRebecca Sager’s work focuses on political and religious movements and parties in American political life.