Slowly but surely, the hindsight investigation in to the death of a toddler is treading its way through a variety of professional enquiry systems. It strikes me, the disparate enquiries reflect the untidy mass of systems that have not, to date, worked in any coherent way with one another.

My belief is, that until there is serious joined up communication, a trust between the organisations and professionals, to enable them to work supportively with one another, child killing cases in the UK, such as the ones of Maria Colwell, Victoria Climbie, and Baby Peter, will continue to appear.

In times of austerity,tougher times that will cause increased individual and family pressures, where a timely intervention could be a lifesaver, it is going to become even more imperative that services do develop broader interdisciplinary teamwork skills, outside their offices, clinics, surgeries and hospital wards. Egos have to be left at the door!

Quality training and dedicated skilled leadership will go some way to improving community protection services for vulnerable individuals. These and the other service structures mentioned above, on their own will not. I know that recent practice and regulation manuals spell out what I have always believed; (better now than not at all). My concern is that Staff shortages, increased workloads for those who are left in the field, will dilute efficacy for practice developments that are still very much in their infancy.


0 thoughts on “JOINED UP WORKING

  1. It was always a priority for me and some other individuals who believed in excellence and inter-agency communication. It paid dividends, sometimes at cost to the worker. Support for the style of working has often been missing and has been down to people who believed in doing it, rather than it being a normal way of operating. Case conferencing was often an exercise in lip-service in non-dynamic organisations. It has taken far too long for inter-agency communication and sharing of information to be spelled out as a national requirement in practice and acted upon.

    Thank you for your observation.

  2. Hi WIF,

    Yes, I would be interested to read your take on interdisciplinary work, thanks.

    As You say, what changes? I can give you an answer to this query. What changes is the the scenery. In addition, the interdisciplinary working and communication requirement is enshrined in work practice codes and can be treated as disciplinary material if it is deemed that it has not been adhered to.

    It will be the easiest group of workers to scapegoat, those with least public sympathy and weak representation, who would be publicly attacked for any failures, as always. I notice though, more recently, there have been one or two social work spokespeople who have been a bit cleverer with media, after the event.

  3. Scotland did not change its twin-track system, welfare has remained part of the ethos of joined up working in Scotland. England Wales did change its styles of working under the edicts of the last Conservative Government. However, codified practice and communication has become necessary for all.

    NZ will be re-enlightened through the work of Chris Trotter, and also through a need to be seen to be professional. Many social systems in NZ have been favourably scrutinised by other governments, my guess is NZ will want to maintain its believed excellence of practice. It will of course depend much on what other governments are looking for.

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