Working Together for the Benefit of Children and Young People

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UNIT 4 Working Together For the Benefit of Children and Young People 1a – Explain the importance of multi-agency working and integrated working

Multi-agency working is a cocktail of services that have the collective aim to provide the best for children and their carers who are in need. The people involved to support a child’s needs could be a social worker, play specialist, early years practitioners, educational psychologists, health workers and any person with the ability to step in and help a child when their development is being hindered. Early years settings are more of an integrated working because they offer a cocktail of services within the setting, rather than external services which is multi-agency. England’s government framework, Every Child Matters, lists five outcomes that reinforce the importance of working together to achieve the best outcome s for children. The Early Years Framework also states that when professionals work together the results are better. This is because a professional such as speech therapist can contribute a qualified understanding of a child’s difficulties, which can then be passed onto the child’s key worker to highlight what is the child’s needs and what can be done to concentrate on improving on difficulties. Essentially, if all the people involved in a child’s life are aware of what that child needs, then development can move faster as the focus is directed on what needs to be done. However if there was not the sense of team work, then one individual may struggle to make the same contributions to the child’s needs and lack the time needed to support he child. The importance of multi-agency working is that is provides a tailored service of exactly the right professionals giving an educated support. This is particularly beneficial as every child is different, and so are their needs, this means the variety of persons that can be involved will be specific to match the needs. For example one child may needs support with their speech, whilst another could be from a very poor background and need financial support. Another advantage is that a child’s needs can be identified early with intervention provided as soon as possible to prevent it escalating to a bigger difficulty for the child. Support for parents is also valuable as mentioned earlier, this is valuable care and time spent with the child that can provide support, rather than just when the child is in a setting. Parents may also feel overwhelmed if they feel alone, or uneducated, and the extra support for them can give them to tools to provide the best for their child (Department for Education, 2012). Early intervention is also a key importance of integrated working, assessing a child as soon as concern is raised again prevents the problem becoming overwhelming and according to the Department of Education (2012) will usually take form in a Common Assessment Framework because it is content based. An integrated service will have an overall manager to ensure the work truly is integrated, efficient and information is shared effectively. These benefits ensure cases such as the death of Victoria Climbiè (News, 2005) do not happen again and outcomes are improved for families, children and young people. In conjunction with this is that the experience for the families, children and young people involved is more pleasant and does not put them off working with others. Overall the main focus, and importance of integrated working is early identification and prevention.

1b – Analyse how integrated working practices and multi-agency working in partnership deliver better outcomes for children and young people

Bernados’ (McInnes, 2007) research asked childcare practitioners to rank which factors they felt were mainly responsible for the success of interagency working, meaning how does the combination of integrated working and multi-agency working provide the best service for children. The first step to success was for everyone to have...
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