Multi-agency working is about different services working together to give each child the best possible support. It is an essential way of supporting children and families with additional needs and helping to secure real improvements in their life outcomes. Multi-agency working aims to support children and young people earlier to ensure they meet the five Every Child Matters (ECM) outcomes. The five outcomes of ECM state that we need to be working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for children in our setting. These outcomes are:• Be healthy• Stay safe• Enjoy and achieve• Make a positive contribution • Achieve economic well beingMulti-agency working brings together professionals from different sectors to provide an integrated way of working to support children, young people and families. It is a way of working that ensures children and young people who need additional support have exactly the right professionals needed to support them.
It is vital that outcomes for any child are shared on a need to know basis and all professionals understand the importance of confidentiality. Integrated working is where everyone involved in supporting children, young and families work together to improve the lives of children. It is achieved by planning and delivering services. Information sharing
Information sharing is essential if we want different sectors and services to work well together to support children and young people. The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) and the Children Index both help with information sharing between practitioners but it is part of everyday work for most of us. Common Assessment Framework (CAF)
The Common Assessment Framework (CAF) is a shared assessment and planning tool which is used across all local areas in England. It uses a consistent approach to assessing the needs and strengths of a child or young person, planning the support they need and coordinating that support if more than one organisation is involved. Team Around the Child
The Team Around the Child is one way of describing a group of people working together to help an individual child or young person to achieve better outcomes. The Team Around the Child approach helps to emphasise the importance of regular cooperation and joint working. It is also about valuing the individual needs of each child and young person so they receive a tailored package of support from their team. Lead Professional
If more than one service or team is working to support a child or young person, one practitioner should act as the ‘Lead Professional’. It is the role of the Lead Professional to co-ordinate different types of support and usually to be the key point of contact for the child and their family. Every multi-agency plan (such as a plan made through using the Common Assessment Framework) and every Team Around the Child should have a Lead Professional.
Integrated working practices and multi-agency working provides benefits for children, young people and families because they receive the best support in the most effective way. The benefits of this include: Early identification and intervention
Easier or quicker access to services or expertise
Improved achievement in education and better engagement in education Better support for parents
Children, young people and family’s needs addressed more appropriately Better quality services
Reduced need for more specialist services.
Below is a list of some of these agencies and a description of their roles.
Behavioural Support Service (BEST) – A behaviour support service is part of the LA and works in partnership with schools, within a framework of inclusion, to help them promote positive behaviour, and to provide effective support to pupils, parents and schools where behaviour may be a concern.
Health care professionals, speech and language therapists and health visitors – They will be employed by...