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Article

Ruth Townsley, Debby Watson and David Abbott

Recent government policies in relation to children stress the importance of service integration and partnership working, with particular emphasis on combating social…

Abstract

Recent government policies in relation to children stress the importance of service integration and partnership working, with particular emphasis on combating social exclusion. With reference to findings from a three‐year empirical study, this article examines some key elements of the process of multi‐agency working in services for disabled children with complex health care needs. It highlights some of the barriers to effective partnerships and lists some pointers for policy and practice.

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Article

David Cottrell and Paul Bollom

The aim of this article is to describe a consultation/mentoring dialogue between a researcher of multi‐agency teams and a multi‐agency team manager, by providing a content…

Abstract

The aim of this article is to describe a consultation/mentoring dialogue between a researcher of multi‐agency teams and a multi‐agency team manager, by providing a content analysis of the notes of a series of mentoring dialogues, presented in the form of a conversation. Themes discussed include: governance and the role of the steering group; managing the agencies; the role of the team manager; explanatory and practice/intervention models; job roles; professional procedures; workload; team functioning and culture; and the consultation process itself. The article suggests that research findings can usefully inform the development of new multi‐agency teams and that collaboration between researchers and service managers can be mutually beneficial.

Details

Journal of Children's Services, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-6660

Keywords

Content available
Article

Sarah Shorrock, Michelle M. McManus and Stuart Kirby

The challenges of transferring the theoretical requirements of an effective multi-agency partnership into everyday practices are often overlooked, particularly within…

Abstract

Purpose

The challenges of transferring the theoretical requirements of an effective multi-agency partnership into everyday practices are often overlooked, particularly within safeguarding practices. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to explore practitioner perspectives of working within a multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) and those factors that encourage or hinder a multi-agency approach to safeguarding vulnerable individuals.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews with 23 practitioners from one MASH location in the North of England were conducted, with a thematic analysis being used to analyse findings.

Findings

The interviews with practitioners illustrated the complexity of establishing a multi-agency approach to safeguarding. It was inferred that whilst information sharing and trust between agencies had improved, the absence of a common governance structure, unified management system, formalisation of practices and procedures and shared pool of resources limited the degree to which MASH could be considered a multi-agency approach to safeguarding.

Practical implications

Establishing a multi-agency approach to safeguarding is complex and does not occur automatically. Rather, the transition to collaborative practices needs to be planned, with agreed practices and processes implemented from the beginning and reviewed regularly.

Originality/value

Few studies have investigated the implementation of MASH into safeguarding practices, with this paper providing a unique insight into practitioner opinions regarding the transition to multi-agency practices. Whilst there is a focus on MASH, the challenges to arise from the research may be reflective of other multi-agency partnerships, providing a foundation for best practice to emerge.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article

Anne Edwards

The paper focuses on preventative services for children, young people and families. It argues that client‐led service provision calls for flexibility from service…

Abstract

The paper focuses on preventative services for children, young people and families. It argues that client‐led service provision calls for flexibility from service providers, using the distributed expertise to be found across the professions involved and a high degree of interprofessional trust. All this, in turn, requires a systemic response from the major agencies if they are to support this new professionalism.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 12 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

Keywords

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Article

Neil Perkins, Bridget Penhale, David Reid, Lisa Pinkney, Shereen Hussein and Jill Manthorpe

This article examines the effectiveness of the multi‐agency approach in adult protection and draws on findings from research that examined the effectiveness of both…

Abstract

This article examines the effectiveness of the multi‐agency approach in adult protection and draws on findings from research that examined the effectiveness of both partnership working and perceptions of the regulatory framework to protect vulnerable adults. The research findings were collected through the use of a survey of all local councils with social services responsibilities in England and Wales. Examples of good practice in partnership working were found. However, resource pressures, insufficient information sharing and a lack of clarity about roles and responsibilities were reported to hinder a multi‐agency approach.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article

Rowan Jasper, Mark Wilberforce, Hilde Verbeek and David J Challis

To examine the association between multi-agency working and psychosocial characteristics of work, practitioner time-use and job satisfaction.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine the association between multi-agency working and psychosocial characteristics of work, practitioner time-use and job satisfaction.

Design/methodology/approach

A comparison of practitioners working in multi-agency (health and social care) and single-agency (social care only) teams, using data from the 2008 evaluation of Individual Budgets pilots in England. Participants worked in care manager roles supporting adult social care service users, and comprised social workers and a smaller number of health professionals. Data was collected using a self-completed questionnaire.

Findings

Data were returned from 249 respondents (a 29 per cent response rate), with two-thirds working in single-agency teams. No significant differences were found between team type and job satisfaction. Respondents in multi-agency teams reported greater decision autonomy but poorer supervisory support than those in single-agency teams. The latter finding was robust to further exploration using regression to control for confounding factors.

Research limitations/implications

These data were not specifically collected for the study and response rates were relatively low due to organisational upheaval at the time of data collection, which may affect interpretation.

Practical implications

Government policy is dedicated to extending integrated forms of working, including multi-agency teamwork. This research suggests that such structures need careful planning for them to work effectively, with particular attention to supervision arrangements.

Originality/value

This research gives a systematic and objective exploration of the relationship between job characteristics, time-use and satisfaction of practitioners in single as compared to multi-agency teams.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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Article

Emma Stevens

The purpose of this paper is to highlight contemporary issues in achieving best practice in safeguarding adults across multi‐agency settings.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight contemporary issues in achieving best practice in safeguarding adults across multi‐agency settings.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is an empirical exploration, reviewing a range of relevant literature and recent policy to present evidence suggesting that there continue to be challenges in achieving best practice in multi‐agency approaches to safeguarding. The literature review was undertaken using the following databases: Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Cochrane, PsycINFO and Medline. The inclusion criteria included being peer‐reviewed and published between 2004 and 2012. The key words used were: “safeguarding adults” and “abuse”. Further literature was found through adopting a “snowballing” technique, in which additional sources were found from the reference lists used in the initial articles.

Findings

Although guidance such as No Secrets from the Department of Health, in 2000, emphasises the importance of a multi‐agency approach, this continues to be problematic and presents challenges. In practice, differing professionals may not fully understand each other's roles and responsibilities and both thresholds and scope of adult abuse are still not universally agreed. Legislation could be used positively to mandate the multi‐agency approach to adult safeguarding, supported by local Safeguarding Adults Boards and local policies can be used to provide guidance and clarity for practitioners. Further empirical investigation into supporting the multi‐agency approach is required.

Originality/value

The paper fulfils the need for discussion on the complexities and challenges that continue to present in multi‐agency responses to adult safeguarding practice.

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Article

Simon Williams

The paper aims to appraise professional practice in safeguarding vulnerable adults. It will examine the mechanisms in place and discuss how future policy will affect…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to appraise professional practice in safeguarding vulnerable adults. It will examine the mechanisms in place and discuss how future policy will affect multi‐agency working in this field.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines recent consultations, policy development, inspectorate reports and legal guidance surrounding the issue of safeguarding adults in England and Wales, and suggests ways in which inter‐agency working can be strengthened.

Findings

Safeguarding systems need to be timely, rigorous and transparent to increase levels of public confidence and to ensure that the people who are at most risk of being abused are safe when accessing public services. The concept of safeguarding adults is increasingly being integrated into government policy and there are many successful examples of safeguarding partnership working in England and Wales. However, there are also substantial barriers that hinder organisations from working together effectively, such as different cultures, practices and ideologies.

Originality/value

The paper explores the fact that there needs to be clarification of roles and responsibilities and integration of processes, and acceptance of true multi‐agency working. There is a danger that instead of providing extra protection for adults at risk, multiple routes will result in a lack of co‐ordination.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article

David Reid, Bridget Penhale, Jill Manthorpe, Neil Perkins, Lisa Pinkney and Shereen Hussein

Little is known about the relationship between organisations charged with the protection of vulnerable adults in England and Wales. This paper investigates adult…

Abstract

Little is known about the relationship between organisations charged with the protection of vulnerable adults in England and Wales. This paper investigates adult protection1 inter‐agency relationships in the context of an adult protection framework that gave local authorities the lead role and charged other agencies with working in partnership with them. The data reported are from focus groups undertaken with members of 26 Adult Protection Committees (APCs) from England and Wales during 2005‐2006. The APCs were selected using a stratified sampling frame and 271 professionals participated. Analysis revealed that participation in the local strategic decision‐making setting of the APC was influenced by the local history of partnership working, information‐sharing, affective relationships, understanding of respective roles and a shared acknowledgement of the importance of adult protection. The implications of these findings are discussed in the light of government reviews of local discretion around adult protection systems.

Details

The Journal of Adult Protection, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1466-8203

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Article

Anna Chiumento, Julia Nelki, Carl Dutton and Georgina Hughes

Following a description of the Haven Project: a school based Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for refugee children in Liverpool, this paper aims to raise…

Abstract

Purpose

Following a description of the Haven Project: a school based Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for refugee children in Liverpool, this paper aims to raise awareness of a multiagency model for replication across community mental health services.

Design/methodology/approach

Using semi‐structured interviews with school head teachers and outcome measures of group therapeutic sessions, a short service review has been conducted, set against background literature, identifying refugee statistics and highlighting mental health policy imperatives that advocate multi‐agency working.

Findings

The findings illustrate that refugee children are more likely and prefer to access a school based mental health service than a CAMH clinic. Links between schools and CAMHS facilitate mutual understanding of different agencies working in the interests of all children and, using outcome measures and quotes, the evidence indicates that the service achieves its aim: improvement in refugee children's mental health.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations to the findings are recognised in the small numbers presented, methodological restrictions, and the lack of routinely collated statistics on refugee populations.

Originality/value

Combining description and evaluation, this paper appraises service design and delivery methods to present an overview with policy and practice implications; addressing key mental health and public health policy priorities; and exemplifying multiagency collaboration between the health and education sector to meet the needs of an often invisible and neglected group: refugee children. It is anticipated this information will inform future service design, meeting policy priorities and the needs of service users as an accessible and responsive way to deliver CAMHS to vulnerable populations.

Details

Journal of Public Mental Health, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5729

Keywords

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