Parliament Street’s new report: It’s about the Children

The need for increased interprofessional practice and collaborative working to safeguard children, young people and families

Randa Najjar, University of Winchester

My new research paper for Parliament Street aims to highlight the importance of interprofessional practice and collaborative working in order to safeguard children, young people and their families. It discusses historic approaches to the way government departments undertook the process of safeguarding and to what extent their efforts were successful, and analyses the crucial tools used in order to efficaciously accomplish interprofessional working. It concludes with key recommendations that, if taken on board, will allow for the continuation and development of suitable, holistic and effective tactics for safeguarding children, young people and families.

In the past, the lack of interprofessional working has led to children falling through the gaps, and in extreme cases, fatalities. However, since the turn of millennium, society has begun to see a much-needed move towards collaborative working, but whilst changes have been noted and the process is ‘looking up’, it remains incomplete.

The formation of a new government heralds great opportunities for the entrenchment of interprofessional practice into governmental best practice, and I envisage that Theresa May’s more compassionate, or ‘one-nation’ conservatism will successfully promote interprofessional working.

I propose the following recommendations:

  • It is key to capitalise on the advantages of a new, digital age in order to maximise the sharing of information between professionals.
  • The Common Assessment Framework, an early intervention strategy which works to allow professionals to work collaboratively, should be streamlined to allow key information to be gathered quickly and accurately, retaining the key information whilst simultaneously allowing professionals to act upon the direct issues at hand.
  • We must look into the sharing of personnel and resources between agencies with similar aims, embedding joined up working into our agency way of life, and maximising value for money.
  • We must ensure that agencies working towards the same aim do so collaboratively, guarantee that their shared aims become shared actions, in order to build a safety net to prevent children ‘falling though the gaps’.

Read the full report here.

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