In this essay l will explore on identify and evaluate the contrasts between models of partnership working. I will question the different models but my focus will be on Multi- agency and interagency partnership working. I will also contend about the challenges and the skills which both models need to function within these contexts. Moreover, i will debate on how a good partnership should be operate and with the range of skills to work successfully with the different service provider over an period of time. Finally I will define how this activity has impacted on my current thinking and as a result how this will change my future practice.
Partnership working A lot has been written about the theory of partnership working. However, interpreting model into practice is not always easy. Partnerships can be formed between a number of individuals, agencies or organisations with a shared interest.
Partnership working ” is the core of partnership is sharing. It is noticeable by respect for one another, role divisions, rights to information, responsibility, competency, and worth acceptable to individual input. In short, each partner is seen as having something to pay, power is shared, decisions are made cooperatively and roles are not only respected but are also supported by legal and moral rights.'(Tunnard (1991) partnership working have different models which are multi-agency, inter-agency,inter-professional working, collaborative working, intergrative , joint working. The main focus out of them are multi-agency and interagency which I will be talk over and given some model of working will be explained.
Multi agency working is an effective way of supporting children and families with additional needs. It brings together practitioners and professionals from different sectors to provide an integrated way of working to support children, young people and families. Partner agency include
Children’s Safeguarding Board
Family Justice service
Job Centre Plus
Other adults or professionals who may be involved in working together to support the child and to provide the best outcomes for the child or young person include:
? Parent or carer
? Carers/other colleagues from early years setting
? Health visitors/workers
Multi agency working brings together practitioners from different sectors and professions to provide an integrated way of working to support children and families. There are goals is to circumnavigate problems from happening at all. This is an active way of support child and families with extra needs and helping to safe real developments in their life outcome. Multi agency working (MAW) has been around for some time 1970’s but was dignified in the children Act 2004 which why Every child Matter was introduced and the common Assessment Framework (CAF). MAW including different professionals all from different services that come together to help support children, young people and families. For the model to work each member of all the agencies needs to have broad knowledge of the range of organisations and individuals working with children, young people and families. And to know the roles and responsibilities of others professional. “Working Together to Safeguard Children” it was issued by the department of Health in association with the Department of Education (DofE) established how all agencies and professionals should work together to promote children and young people welfare and look after them from abuse and neglect. The multi-agency policy ; procedures was for prevention of abuse of vulnerable adults in the need of safeguarding. The multi-agency police apply to all vulnerable adults in need of safeguarding and all agencies will have contact with vulnerable adult in need of safeguarding. A multi-agency working is different models of multi-agency working together for the benefits of vulnerable adults.
The important of multi-agency working together is that they are able to share information in order to protect vulnerable adults and prevent them from harm. The organisations which are both paid and unpaid are joining forces to work more cooperatively towards the preventative of abuse and harm for vulnerable adults. When working with other agencies is very effective for improving the outcomes for vulnerable adults. By coming together and sharing information would raise concerns will increase the likelihood of protecting vulnerable adults and promoting their welfare which would mean fewer children have to face the terrible circumstances of what some other vulnerable adults have experienced. The purpose of the Multi-agency purpose is to describe the common values, principles and law that underpin the protection of vulnerable adult in need of safeguarding and to be able to define the different types of abuse, signs, symptoms and indicators. They would also need to ensure that the information claims and incidents of an abuse is collected and monitored and reviewed in order to inform future practise.
The multi-Agency Policy says that all agencies and individuals that have contact with vulnerable adults in need of safeguarding have a duty to protect them from abuse or any kind of maltreatment. If abuse is reported to or suspected by any person in any agency the response should be quick and in line with the Multi-Agency Procedures. The Multi-agency response would be to take the matter seriously and to be timely sensitive and maintain confidentiality as appropriate to each situation. f an abuse is reported the agencies would need to communicate between each other and to be consistent with the service principles and practise of each agency and policy. The multi-Agency also promotes the human rights and every citizen’s access to law and also ensuring they support the rights of individuals by respecting their self-determination and informed choice. The multi-agency also ensure they acknowledge risk as part of the vulnerable adults choice and decision-making to ensure the risk assessments are completed and that they are recorded and reviewed in order for the risk to be minimised. Multi-Agency ensure they are sensitive to every individual’s identity including culture, beliefs and ethnic background, gender, disability, age and sexuality to avoid any discrimination towards the vulnerable adults.
Interagency collaboration: more than one agency working together in a planned and formal way, rather than simply through informal networking (although the latter may Support and develop the former). This can be at the strategic or the operational level. It could involve planning and working in parallel, but it does not involve the Combining of systems, processes and teams. Lloyd et al (2001). The term inter-agency best describes an array of people all working together for the greater good of the services. An inter-agency approach allows agencies or agents to share knowledge and have greater communication upon a family’s needs or network. All members are aware of their specific role in supporting the client or clients. Communication is imperative as each member must understand each other’s responsibilities. When working with professionals and non-professionals in partnership, the collaboration of these groups can cause tension. Inter-professional collaboration can be viewed as the washing way and diluting of professional autonomy, as members are required to work beyond the boundaries of their discipline (Hilton 1995). As a result when working in interagency and inter professional group’s autonomy and views become crucial and may need assessment with the transition of working within a partnership group. Strengths and weakness must be evenly carried to develop integrity and quality for the alliance. Preventing a unclear vision and identity will enable the group to remain focused and collaborate together. As many different professionals have a boundary to their work and limitations, working within a partnership should provide assistance for those in this temporary field.
Moreover, Linden (2002, p. 7), who states, “collaboration occurs when people from different organizations, produce something through joint effort, resources, and decision making, and share ownership of the final product or service.” This collaboration can occur on multiple levels, from frontline collaboration among caseworkers, families, mental health providers, teachers, and others, to collaborative relationships between policy-makers and administrators responsible for addressing organizational mandates, financing, and management. In addition to State and local organizations, interagency collaboration can involve public, private, and/or faith-based sectors as partners. As all agencies invested in serving youth and families are partners, participants may include parents and family advocacy groups, among others.
The Current UK government policy has given priority to tackling social exclusion: that is, the loss of access to life chances that connect individuals to the mainstream of social participation. Social exclusion can occur when individuals or communities suffer from combinations of linked problems such as unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, bad health and family breakdown (Social Exclusion Unit, 2000). Government guidance since 1997 has exhorted traditionally separate agencies to work together in order to counter social exclusion and to develop public services that are organised to meet the needs of citizens, rather than the convenience of providers. ‘Joined-up’ welfare services have, therefore, been characterised as the driver of social inclusion. Present policy enthusiasm for developing ‘joined-up solutions to joined up problems’ has generated a plethora of terminology to describe the collaborative approaches required: ‘interagency’, ‘multiagency’, ‘inter-professional’, ‘inter-sectoral’, and ‘partnership’ being prevalent (Lloyd et al, 2001). Moreover, multiple terms such as ‘interagency’ and ‘multiagency’ may be used to indicate a range of structures, approaches and rationales.
Strategic and good practice literature tends implicitly to propose interagency collaboration as a progressively linear ‘solution’ to social exclusion. By contrast, the position of the LIW project that interagency working is a learning process marked by tensions and contradictions, rather than an ‘ideal’ model of service delivery
Interprofessional: This refers to the working relationships between different groups of professionals, for example between social workers, teachers and police officers. Each professional group will bring its own perspective to the collaborative process. When considering this type of working it is important to think about how best the differing perspectives can be brought together and how the respective professional contributions can be hard. Inter-professional working involves complex interactions between two or more members of different professional disciplines. It is a collaborative project in which those involved share the common purpose of emerging equally negotiated goals attained through agreed plans which are checked and assessed according to agreed procedures. This requires the sharing of knowledge and expertise to ease joint decision making based upon shared professional viewpoints” (Barrett, Sellman & Thomas, 2005, p18) for instance IPIAC was a modernisation agenda introduced in public policy by the New Labour Government. Government recognition suggests that many social problems cannot be effectively addressed by any given organisation acting in isolation from others. That is, when professionals work together effectively they provide a better service to the complex needs of the most vulnerable people in society. New Labour also specified that there was a ‘Berlin Wall’ type division between agencies and professionals and that there was a barrier to co-operation and this barrier should be confronted so that services worked in partnership with service users. However according to research conducted by Hiscock and Pearson (2002, p.11) “several government reports have criticised the lack of coordination between health and social services in the community”. So, in essence when professions work collaboratively the service user gets a better deal. “Willing participation” (Henneman et al, 1995, cited in Barrett et al, 2005, p.19) and a “high level of motivation” (Molyneux, 2001, cited in Barrett et al, p.19) have been stated as vital aspects of effective IPIAC.
Challenges with inter- agency collaboration and Multi agency working
In working to build inter-agency collaboration as critical of elements of system changes communities identified three significant challenges: limited resources, significant time requirements, and staff turnover.
• Limited resources: Grantees were unanimous in pointing to a lack of resources and constraints on time and funding as impediments to interagency activities. In many cases, funding is siloes and limited to particular services. Regardless of individual views on the benefits of working together, limited resources increased the challenges at all levels for building interagency collaboration.
• Significant time requirements: Building collaboration is a developmental process that takes time and considerable effort. Communities developing a system of care must allow sufficient time to establish structural elements such as cross-agency governance, formal collaborative groups at the supervisory and service levels, and formal interagency agreements. Moreover, communities need time to identify collaborative-specific staff, secure funds for flexible use, and develop a commitment to group decision-making and problem solving (Hodges et al., 1999). Maintaining and deepening partnerships require progressive renewal of the commitment to common goals. only a finite amount of time available to respond to many different priorities; some services have waiting lists, for example, CAMHS
• Staff turnover: Involving cross-agency partners, key community members, family partners, and evaluators from the earliest planning stages can make infrastructure change both easier and more sustainable. Additionally, communities with steady leadership have in history been more successful developing a solid structure and recognizing system change. When key individuals resign, retire, or transfer, they often take with them institutional knowledge, interpersonal relationships, valuable experience, and credibility.
• Understanding each other’s professional language and protocols.
• Adapting to working in a new and different context, for example, a school or children’s centre, as opposed to a hospital environment.
• Lack of coherence in the aims, intentions and joined-up thinking between different agencies, resulting in role overlap or duplication of services. The management of different professional and multi-agency service cultures, for example, staff recruitment and retention, disparities in status, pay, conditions of service, working hours and working conditions. Health works 24 hours a day, seven days a week and education does not.
• Engaging the ‘hard to reach’ parents/carers, families, children and young people with multi-agency service provision, education and lifelong learning
• To achieve strong inter-agency collaboration governance or organizational structure must occur to address these issues and make clear the roles of authority, responsibility, and mutual accountability. Agreeing on core values, common goals, and strategic plans allows partners to develop a common language, appreciate the knowledge and experience of others, assume the best intentions, and respect diverse perspectives (De Carolis, Southern, & Blake, 2007).
• Communication that creates an open and credible process and identifies and addresses challenges to implementing collaborative processes. When collaborations develop clear and regular channels of communication at all levels, partners can exchange information, perceptions, and feedback, and work as a cohesive team (De Carolis et al., 2007).
• To encourage the development of multi-agency services around schools and children’s centres.
• To improve information sharing between agencies.
My current practice placement is within a voluntary organisation with mostly homelessness. I am a student youth worker at YMCA for young people who are homeless and less domestic abuse. My role is to co-link work with permanent support staff and co-ordinate each young people support needs whilst maintaining links with voluntary sectors.
In the case conference I feel that it went pretty well except that the young people I am going to be talking about is not present at the meeting at the time. I and one other the permanent staff where I am doing my placement had a meeting with set of different agencies everything that was said linked to each other’s report where necessary. We had a main spokesperson at the meeting this was this social worker as she had known him for many years and more knowledge from all other members of the multi-agency team. Each person involved described a brief of what had been said and what they had already noted as part of the case. In the meeting we did not have him present because of his previous behaviour. I and the other staff we have an advocate on his behalf and the Family support worker she described what she had assessed of him . They also stated that there was a meeting with him and her case worker previously to this case conference and even more issues were raised regarding not only him but his other brother. The social worker gave everyone pre arrange care plan and another meeting was arrange to follow up the action everyone agree wiith it. A plan of care is something that defines a straight forward way that the services and support being provided. It will be put together in agreement with the person who needs the support and services by planning and studying their needs. (Dubowitz and DePanfilis, 2000).
Overall I think the case conference went well there could have been better communication leading up to the conference and we could of suggested further opportunities to help aid him and her family into the care plan. Instead of everyone sitting down and keep to them self.If I had to attend another case conference, I would look into services to support the young people more and help the young people so that he can get support to better his living conditions. If I was to develop a partnership working in my place of work working with young people with various issues like homelessness, unemployment, mental problems and so on. I will be working with multi-agency partnership to enable to work and support young people who are different issues and this will allowing me to have various agencies working with me to support me to able to help and tackle some challenges the young person may be going through. I will work with these multi agency based on the situation the young people is going through and the agencies that I will be co-operatively are safeguarding units, social workers, employment teams, support workers, psychologist and housing officers, policy and youth workers and many more. I will develop transparency of purpose in linking with other agencies involves establishing and merging with other partner to support young people in my work place by creating a shared vision and purpose between partners. I will be involving them by given the feedback and sharing goals and decision making. I will improve and extending community support this will involve setting up parents groups and co-located service and work with other agencies.