Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Services for children: training needed to tackle complexity of new labour’s joined-up approach

07.02.2005


Making New Labour’s multi-agency teamwork approach to modernising government effective is a complex challenge, and training to make it work must be planned and funded, warns important new ESRC-sponsored research into delivering children’s services.



Joined-up delivery, involving both public and voluntary organisations, is a central tenet of the Government’s aim to make services more efficient and effective. But, says the study led by Professor Angela Anning, of Leeds University, until now the way this major shift in policy is being conceptualised and implemented has scarcely been examined.

The research found confusion, for instance, between the concepts of multi-disciplinary and multi-agency work. And it identifies lack of training in effective management of multi-agency teams and managing change as two key issues which must be addressed.


Researchers investigated five multi-agency teams operating in children’s services in England, covering youth crime, mental health, special needs provision for under-fives, neuro-rehabilitation and assessment of child development. Agencies and specialists involved included police, court workers, psychologists, social services, probationary, voluntary sector, education and health professionals.

The study found that heavy demands are made on the professionals involved in implementing multi-agency teamwork in terms of their need to rethink their roles and switch to different kinds of activities and working practices.

A main focus of this new way of working is the sharing with others of information perhaps previously restricted to those in a particular specialist field, with an expert understanding of its language and practices.

Attempting to share information more widely may create anxiety and conflict and affect the way teams work together - setting for instance, medical versus social work; education versus care.

Researchers found that during meetings about major decisions, jargon could be used to ‘exclude’ some team members from contributing fully to discussions. Use of jargon was often associated with high status specialist knowledge, for example within medical teams, or acronyms used by educational or social services groups.

There can be confusion, says the report, in how best to use generalist and specialist workers within teams, and differential pay and working conditions can cause resentments if not addressed openly as part of an overall strategic plan. Changing roles could threaten professionals’ sense of themselves as specialists when teams worked towards ‘blurring’ responsibilities to create generalist workers.

On the other hand, individuals spoke of the creative energy released by operating as a team, when professionals felt their newly developed professional knowledge both enhanced their career opportunities and improved users’ experiences of services.

Others spoke of feelings of loss as their roles changed. In particular, specialists such as a teacher, health visitor, nurse or special needs nursery nurse, felt they had lost the particular identity they had brought with them to the team from previous mainstream work. Those who were part-time, seconded, or not employed by a lead agency in the team, seemed more uncertain and stressful about their new professional identities within the groups.

Professor Anning said: “We found that the quality of team leaders, including their ability to insist that diversity was a positive thing and that the knowledge and skills of all members should be given equal value, was crucial in confronting and resolving conflicts.

“Emphasis on new ways of working can be exciting and enriching, but it requires funded time to work through the challenges of sharing knowledge, expertise and working practices.”

Becky Gammon | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Air pollution leads to cardiovascular diseases

21.08.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Researchers target protein that protects bacteria's DNA 'recipes'

21.08.2018 | Life Sciences

A paper battery powered by bacteria

21.08.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>