Common Barriers to Integrated Working

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In your role as early years practitioner you will know that teamwork can sometimes be challenging. Multi-agency practice takes place where children spend most of their time and feel familiar – this could be a children’s centre, school, village hall, health centre etc.

But it is important to understand what some of the barriers to effective working might be: •Lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities - Where people have been clearly trained for a role they may find it odd to be managed by a person with different skills and expertise (which could happen in settings such as children’s centres) •Time constraints – If agencies do not have sufficient time to communicate and share the correct information needed to understand fully. •Multitude of contacts within the working environment and multi-agency teams – There may be confusion as to which agency best meets the needs of the task. •They may behave in a different way in dealing with risks and have different priorities in their work with children •Different professional values and ethos – Practitioners have different ways in which they believe a setting should be run, they may not be used to sharing their expertise and knowledge. If there are conflicts between ideas it could be a barrier to working effectively. •Different priorities – Some settings may view different situations or issues with different values and prioritise in a way others may not be familiar with. •Each profession may have their own language – terms they use that only recognised by their profession •Terms and conditions of employment - They have chosen a specific profession and may feel upset that they have to widen their working practice and find new ways of working.

In order for this to be successful it is important that each profession is respected and the knowledge they have is seen as a valuable asset to any multi-agency work. Professionals will need to have forums so they can share their practice with fellow...
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