Reflection on Multi-Agency Working

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17th Oct 2017 Childcare Reference this

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Multi-agency working

 

Introduction

In this report it will be discussing a case conference that has previously taken place and reflect using the Gibbs cycle, (Eggers, 2002) on how the group work was and how the conference went. It will reflect on what happened, how could it of been better, what could be changed for future conferences. Next will be the challenges of multi-agency working that arise in a case conference and how you can overcome these. Then it will discuss the legislation on multi-agency working and how this can affect the people involved and what laws all people working with children must follow.

Reflecting on working in a group

Working in a group, I thought would make the assignment much easier and as a group I thought would help us all get different opinions into our work and by listening to each other’s views would give us a incite to what we could say in the conference and write about. This however was not the case I found this assignment one of the hardest as we had people in our group that did not live locally and also most of us have children, this being the case made it near impossible to get the group together outside of university. We did however try to overcome this as best as possible by meeting up with who we could when we could and by communication through email and text messaging with updates or with ideas for the scenario. If I had to work within a group again I would possibly change who I work with so that I am with people I know will be on the same working level as myself and that live more locally to make it easier to overcome not being able to meet up when needed.

Reflecting on case conference

In the case conference I feel that it went quite well, everything that was said linked to each other’s report where necessary. We had a main spokesperson at the meeting this was the social worker as she had all knowledge from all other members of the multi-agency team. Each person involved described a brief of what had been said and what they had already noted as part of the case. In the meeting we did not have Jasmine herself present as she was felt to be too young and venerable to be in the meeting with her mother present so we have an advocate on her behalf who was the Family support worker she described what she had assessed of Jasmine and her older brother had felt about the situation at home and how it was effecting them. Both the Safeguarding officer and the head teacher of the school explained what was disclosed to raise the awareness of a safeguarding and child protection issue. They also stated that there was a meeting with Jasmine and her mother previous to this case conference and even more issues were raised regarding not only Jasmines sexual experience but also that she is left at home a lot to look after a very young baby. As the safeguarding policy states that we must protect children from maltreatment, prevent bad health or development, making sure that children are growing up in safe and effective care and to take action to enable all children to have the best possible outcome. (Evans, 2012)

The health visitor for Jasmines mother was also at the case conference to explain that when she goes to the house it is dirty with not much food in. It may not have been relevant for the health visitor to be in the conference as she had already reported her concerns before the school was aware of this current concerns and the social worker had already been notified about this previously.

The mother of Jasmine had previously had a meeting with the social worker before the case conference and had agreed to attend the conference as well parenting classes and follow up meetings. The Social worker gave everyone the pre-arranged care plan and the mother had agreed to all of the care plan and another meeting was arranged to follow up these actions. A care plan is to make sure the children do not suffer from any more neglect and so they can assess that they are in suitable and stable family home environment. A plan of care is something that describes a straight forward way that the services and support being provided. It will be put together in agreement with the person who needs the support and services by planning and reviewing their needs. (Dubowitz and DePanfilis, 2000)

Overall I think the case conference went well there could have been better communication leading up to the conference and we could of suggested further opportunities to help aid Jasmine and her family into the care plan. If I had to attend another case conference, I would look into services to support the children more and help the mother so that she can get financial help to better her living conditions and also help the food needs of the family such as food banks.

Challenges of multi-agency working

The challenges that arise within the multi-agency team, that were in the case conference were lack of communication. It was hard to contact everyone when needed this slowed down the process of gathering all information needed before the case conference. This is a problem that happens within all multi-agency, the issue of lack of communication happens across all various agencies and voluntary organisations, although it seems to be worse in the education sector. Atkinson (2002) This can be overcome by making phone appointments with the agency’s involved or booking appointments to have meetings every few weeks but as they may have many case this may not be possible this is why I think phone appointments would be quite sufficient. The other challenge we had within working as a multi-agency team was the responsibilities of the people involved and them understanding the roles of themselves as well as others. Some agencies didn’t seem to know who is responsible for what tasks and some moved beyond their existing roles in the case conference. This again comes down to the lack of communication within the group.

Legislation

In multi-agency working all members of all the different agencies, will have had a Disclosure and Barring Service check done also known as DBS, which used to be called Criminal Record Bureau (CRB) this is a checking system so that the suitability of professionals and volunteers who work with students are safe to work with students and also make sure all staff have the qualifications needed. (Gov.UK, 2014) Raising awareness of the student’s protection and making sure all students have the ability required to make them safe. Developing and implementing procedures for noticing and reporting cases, or possible cases, of abuse. Supporting students that are in or have been abused in accordance with his/her in agreement pre-arranged protection arrangement. Finally establishing a secure surroundings where all students will learn and develop in.

Settings recognise that as the professionals who are in regular and frequent contact with the children and are well trained to look out for signs of abuse. The Setting in which they work are responsible that make sure all members of staff no and are trained in safeguarding to protection all students from abuse and from inappropriate and inadequate care. Therefore, the setting is committed to reacting in accordance should any problem arise.

The Children Act 2004 presents the legal basis for the way social services and other groups maintain issues on the subject of children. These laws had been laid down so that all individuals who are worried about the wellbeing of children, within their home, schools or any childcare setting, are aware of how children and young people must be taken care of within the eyes of the legislation. The Children Act 2004 was planned to make children to be healthy and so that they are safe in their environments at all times. It also helps children to succeed and be the best they can be. They also help achieve economic permanency for our children’s futures. (Legislation.gov.uk, 2015)

Management styles

Social Worker

Successful management of social workers involves an ability set that is somewhat vast and difficult. The manager needs to be highly qualified in many arenas and ought to be ready to make important life changing decisions.

 

Evidence to work effectively as a multi-agency team

Effective multi-agency working depends on four key areas: clarifying roles and responsibilities, engendering trust, mutual respect and understanding between agencies. An advantage of working effectively in a multi-agency team improved services, direct outcomes and prevention of child cases. It also improves access to services which helps families early on and can potentially stop any fatalities or neglect to children. The benefits of effective multi-agency work gives them a broader point of view, a greater figuring out of the issues. Multi-agency teams state that working with experts from other backgrounds is profitable and motivating. (Moran et al., 2007)

How to improve multi-agency working

To improve multi-agency working is combined working as well as getting best outcomes. This can be achieved by better information sharing between the agencies and raising awareness and understanding of other agencies. In addition, the promotion of a shared responsibility between the agencies. They need to supply more services to improving outcomes for children and families and improving educational achievement. This could be done, by working with other agencies and using their expertise so targets can be achieved.

References

Atkinson, M. (2002) multi-agency working: a detailed study, National Foundation for Educational Research: Berkshire

Dubowitz, H. and DePanfilis, D. (2000). Handbook for child protection practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Eggers, H. (2002). Project Cycle Management: A Personal Reflection. Evaluation, 8(4), pp.496-504.

Evans, M. (2012). Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements, part 1: Child protection. Nursery World, 2012(5).

Gov.uk, (2014). Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks (previously CRB checks) - GOV.UK. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.uk/disclosure-barring-service-check/overview [Accessed 13 Dec. 2014].

Legislation.gov.uk, (2015). Children Act 2004. [Online] Available at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2004/31/contents [Accessed 10 Jan. 2015].

Moran, P., Jacobs, C., Bunn, A. and Bifulco, A. (2007). Multi-agency working: implicationfor an early-intervention social work team. Child & Family Social Work, 12(2), pp.143-151.

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