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NCJ Number: 219158 Find in a Library
Title: Joining Up Children's Services: Safeguarding Children in Multi-Disciplinary Teams
Journal: Child Abuse Review  Volume:16  Issue:3  Dated:May/June 2007  Pages:184-199
Author(s): Nick Frost; Mark Robinson
Date Published: May 2007
Page Count: 16
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This paper reflects on the complexity and contested nature of the roles of multidisciplinary teams in working with children in the United Kingdom.
Abstract: The paper draws on a research project called MATCH (Multi-Agency Team Work in Services for Children). This project examined the effects of the widespread policy shift in the United Kingdom toward multiagency-team work in delivering services for children and their families. The focus of the research was on the implications of multiagency-team work for the involved professionals' practice and the development of professional knowledge. This paper focuses on three major aspects of potential transformation for professionals who are participating in multiagency teams. One aspect is professional learning and information-sharing in teams responsible for a given jurisdiction. A second aspect is understanding the problems that children and families experience, and a third aspect is individual professional identity. Drawing on the experiences of the members of the five multiagency teams included in the analysis, the paper argues that multidisciplinary work with families is a complex and demanding process that can be successfully managed if clear support and guidance are provided. In the work of multiagency teams, professional knowledge boundaries can become blurred, and professional identity can be threatened as roles and responsibilities change. The rapid pace of reform leaves little time for professionals to adjust as teams rush from strategic planning to the implementation of operations. Little time is allowed for joint training. These difficulties, however, have not undermined professional commitment to the value of multidisciplinary teams as the most effective structure for improving services to children and their families. 16 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse investigations; Child protection services; Foreign organizations; Interagency cooperation; Multidisciplinary Investigative Team
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