Developing Multi-Professional Teamwork for Integrated Children's Services: Research, Policy and Practice

Developing Multi-Professional Teamwork for Integrated Children's Services: Research, Policy and Practice

Developing Multi-Professional Teamwork for Integrated Children's Services: Research, Policy and Practice

Developing Multi-Professional Teamwork for Integrated Children's Services: Research, Policy and Practice

Synopsis

Multiprofessional practice in the delivery of services is a central government imperative in the UK and other countries. This book offers a practical resource to professionals charged with conceptualising, planning, implementing and evaluating multiprofessional practice in children's services. The book: exemplifies what multiprofessional work looks like in practice; examines real dilemmas faced by professionals trying to make it work, and shows how these dilemmas can be resolved; and, considers lessons to be learnt, implications for practice and recommendations for making multiprofessional practice effective. Discussion of dilemmas facing multiprofessional teams include organising and managing multi-professional teams, supporting professionals as they learn to adapt to new roles and responsibilities, and learning how to share professional knowledge and expertise.

Excerpt

There are a number of challenges to researching multi-professional teams. For example: Who should be studied? What aspects of their work? What sort of data should be collected? How should it be collected? These are basic questions of the sort that all researchers must address when planning a research study. To a large extent, those decisions depend on the precise nature of the research question. If, for example, we want to know whether multi-professional teams deliver services that are better or worse than other service providers, we would be interested primarily in outcomes. We would therefore need to find some proxy measure of 'quality' of service (e.g. reoffending rates for youth offending teams) and we would need to look at outcomes for a relatively large number of people, comparing those who had received services in different ways. We would probably also want to focus on the experiences of service recipients, perhaps with interviews or focus groups. These could also be outcome-focused (e.g. we could ask people to rate their satisfaction with the services received, or they could also be trying to understand process: what was it about the ways in which services were provided that made a difference?).

The questions being posed by our study were more concerned with process than with outcomes. Our goals were to understand the experiences of individuals working within multi-professional teams and the ways in which the teams themselves developed and functioned. This meant that our focus had to be on the professionals themselves, rather than on service recipients.

One of the goals of our study was to help practitioners coming together to work in multi-professional ways for the first time. Our assumption was that there were useful lessons to be learnt from multi-professional teams who are established and apparently successful. The purpose of this study was therefore to try and understand how such teams make joined-up . . .

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