Individuals have the right to communicate through their chosen method and their choice should be acknowledged and respected by supporting them.
Working together towards a common goal raises unique problematical issues for professionals from different backgrounds, over and above those issues arising from collaboration within a single profession or discipline.
Such difficulties stem partially from differing ideologies, working practices and priorities. Recent research into multi-agency collaboration has mostly focussed on barriers to and facilitators of the process, and is often highly contextualised with relatively few attempts to generalise findings.
The current paper proposes a model of multi-agency collaboration, developed by the author in response to the literature in the field, and incorporating theoretical developments in team reasoning.
The model was essentially supported by the evidence from the interviews. Implications of the model for policy and practice in multi-agency collaboration are discussed.
Working together towards a common goal raises unique problematic issues for professionals from different agencies and backgrounds, over and above those issues arising from collaboration within a single profession or discipline. Such difficulties stem partially from the differing ideologies, cultures, working practices and priorities that are encountered when educational practitioners, social services practitioners and health practitioners aim to work collaboratively to further the interests of the children with whom they work.
Recent research into multi-agency collaboration has mostly focussed on barriers to and facilitators of the process, and is often highly contextualised with relatively few attempts to generalise findings and develop theory.
The current paper proposes a model within which to view and further explore multi-agency collaboration, and which may be useful to facilitate more effective multi-agency working. It has been synthesised from a review of research in collaborative practice, incorporating previous theoretical constructions of multi-agency collaboration eg Easen et al, and using theoretical developments in the field of team reasoning Gilbert, ; Sugden, Team-reasoning theory suggests that, in certain circumstances, people consider outcomes and their actions in terms of what is best for the group, rather than for themselves as individuals.
The two parts to team reasoning — i. Team reasoning does not imply that those involved in the collaboration are in a formal "team" per se, merely that there is some perception of collective responsibility. In the proposed model, a team could be anything from members of a loose, fluid network of individuals who come together on a case-by-case basis, to a clearly established and structured team who work together regularly or permanently.
The language used to describe inter-professional and multi-agency working has varied over the years, with a proliferation of different terms in common usage.
The words "cooperation", "collaboration" and "coordination" have been interpreted in different ways by different people. Frost made distinctions between cooperation, collaboration, and coordination in the following ways: Services work together towards consistent goals and complementary services, while maintaining their independence Collaboration: Services plan together and address issues of overlap, duplication and gaps in service provision towards common outcomes Coordination: Services work together in a planned and systematic manner towards shared and agreed goals Frostp.
Research Background Much of the literature on multi-agency working is securely grounded in specific local contexts, although some common themes emerged throughout. The impact of shared and common goals has been discussed frequently throughout the literature, both in terms of a lack of common goals impeding successful collaboration eg Dessent, ; Harris, and a clarity of shared goals facilitating collaboration eg Anning et al, ; Hartas, ; Statham, The idea of working towards a common goal is inherent in team reasoning theory, with those who are team reasoning having a preference for the common goal as an individualand playing their own role in helping to achieve that goal as part of a group.
This type of reasoning benefits both from a commitment to the process of joint working, often cited as essential for effective collaboration eg Atkinson et al, ; Dowling et al, ; Sloper, ; Tett et al,and from an understanding of the roles of individual team members, and how they fit together for coherent service provision eg Atkinson et al, ; Cameron and Lart, ; Sloper, Specification, in terms of aims, resourcing and time boundedness encountered by groups or teams can all have a profound impact on the effectiveness of collaboration.
The issue of boundedness was discussed at length by Easen et alin relation to collaboration in both individual- and community-focussed work. They identified both positive more scope for identifying needs, selecting appropriate actions, and involving wider collaborations and negative differing priorities, lack of clearly defined roles, financial uncertainty, and poor lines of communication aspects of less bounded collaborations.
Harris outlined the problems of having no clear strategy or approach to collaborative working, with professionals incorrectly assuming that their co-workers in a collaborative project held the same goals and were working in similar directions. However, there can be problems with more bounded collaborations, for example, it has been suggested that short-term projects may not allow time for professionals to learn to overcome their inflexibilities, and develop the trusting relationships that are needed for effective collaborative working Milbourne, ; Salmon, Several studies have commented on the importance of the continuity of personnel in collaborative work eg Abbott et al, ; Easen et al, ; Sloper, Continuity supports the development of relationships that Milbourne identified as important.
A high turnover of staff will also impact on management of collaborative teams, and the roles and responsibilities of those involved in the collaboration.
Longer term, more continuous collaborative ventures allow for more secure, trusting and understanding relationships between team members: Easen et al suggested that a term of at least three years was needed to enable effective collaboration.
Furthermore, a history of collaboration between agencies can facilitate further collaborative activities, allowing agencies to build on existing structures, links and collaborative protocols Sloper, The necessity of strong leadership of multi-agency teams to provide drive and focus is a common theme running through the literature eg Atkinson et al, ; Harris, ; Hymans, ; Sloper, ; Watqon, Clarity of roles and responsibilities of all those in multi-agency teams is seen as necessary Cleaver and Walker, ; Hymans, ; Sloper, ; Watson, Ambiguity of roles, and lack of direct and clear management can mean that roles are more flexible, although this also carries a heavy burden of responsibility to ensure that there are no gaps in provision Considine, ; Milbourne, Considine goes on to discuss the complexity of accountability that occurs when management lines become blurred across and between agencies, and suggests that this can be counteracted by developing a "culture of responsibility" across agencies.As can be seen, each ethnic group brings its own perspectives and values to the health care system, and many health care beliefs and health practices differ from .
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Explain the importance of meeting an individual’s communication needs Explain how own role and practice can impact on communication with an individual who has specific communication needs Analyse features of the environment that may help or hinder communication.
International Hospital Federation Positive practice environments for health care professionals Positive Practice Environments Today there is a global health workforce crisis – .
The impact of religious practice on teenage sexual behavior also can be seen at the state level: States with higher levels of aggregate religiousness have lower rates of teenage pregnancy.
. The impact of multi-agency working 2 Factors influencing multi-agency working 3 on multi-agency working are typically limited to one specific sector or issue and do over role demarcation, a lack of which was highlighted as the most frequently.