Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team

Moran, Patricia and Jacobs, Catherine and Bunn, Amanda and Bifulco, Antonia (2007) Multi-agency working: Implications for an early-intervention social work team. Child and Family Social Work, 12 (2). pp. 143-151. ISSN 1356-7500

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Abstract

The adoption of multi-agency working is a key component of the government’s agenda for the reconfiguration of children’s services. This study examined multi-agency working from the perspective of social workers within an early-intervention family support team. Qualitative methods were used, involving individual interviews as well as focus groups with a total of 29 professionals within the early-intervention social work team and its partner agencies. Thematic analysis of transcripts showed a number of challenges to multi-agency working, which included issues focused on differences in partner agencies’ protocols, as well as issues concerning professional status and identity. Messages for best practice that emerged stress the need for clear protocols and methods of negotiating and reviewing protocols; opportunities for informal as well as formal communication between workers; and adequate financial support and timetabling of service developments. Benefits of multi-agency working involved enhanced inter-agency respect and communication, greater understanding of child protection thresholds among partner agencies and fast-track referrals. Areas requiring further investigation include the blurring of professional boundaries for social workers delivering early-intervention services in community settings and the outcomes for children of multi-agency working in early-intervention services.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Multi-agency, joint working, early intervention, children’s services, professional identity
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 12621
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Depositing User: Natasa Blagojevic-Stokic
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2013 06:41
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2018 04:50
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/12621

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