Effective partnership working is vital in a childcare setting because we have a professional responsibility to support better outcomes for the children
and their families. There are two core principle features that lead towards successful partnership working. These principles are integration and co-production.
For successful integration to take place, crucial steps are taken by local systems that bring services together that share important information. The information that is shared promotes effective common understanding of the needs of the children and their families in which an assessment and referrals can be made.
Professionals working across the sector with recognised experts and cross-department government policy makers are known as Co-production partners. This type of partnership working is effective when all partners are all active in working alongside one another, sharing expertise and knowledge with other partners and colleagues.
Explain the importance of partnership working with:
In child care, partnership working and working as part of a team is important in caring for the children, and this comes through having mutual respect for one another. It is vitally important that creating a positive relationship with other colleagues has a constructive effect on the working and caring environment for the children to be part of. Each colleague will have their own ideas, suggestions and concerns regarding either the children they work with or the working environment. What is important is that we listen and acknowledge this and provide feedback. As a team we should encourage open and honest communication and any staff issues should be dealt with directly and promptly with one another without feeling intimidated.
Offering support and advice as a child care officer is essential for the child as well as colleagues. There are occasions when staff members will need the support, for example when they are struggling dealing with a behavioural challenge, parents or other agencies. The extra help will get the situation under control.
As a whole, all the knowledge and skills that an individual can bring to working with colleagues are important. It is crucial to collaborate these with one another in such environments and circumstances while working together.
• Other professionals/Others
As a childcare officer I work alongside many other professionals, such as social workers, youth workers and the police. It’s important that I build a relationship with these external agencies for the sake of any child under my responsibility.
Where I work, I am fully aware of any issues that a child has in the residential setting. Without the assistance of other professionals outside the residential setting, I wouldn’t be aware of issues that are cause for concern for a child. Therefore, it’s crucial that having a good relationship with other professionals that I can liaise with to ensure me that I’m fully aware of any external issues that may have an effect for a child under my care.
Analyse how partnership working delivers better outcome.
Partnership does seem to be an important mechanism for delivering better services and for tackling complex issues. However partnership working takes much effort and input from staff members to make effective and if the concept loses legitimacy there is a danger that people will begin to disengage from this process. The outcomes of partnership working are imperative and it is for this reason that we need to be clear about what kind of working relationships can produce what kind of impacts for whom, when and why. [Glasby,2009]
Explain how to overcome barriers to partnership working.
There are a number of barriers that can arise while working in partnership. It is how we deal with them in the first place can be vital to resolving a problem before it occurs. Dishonesty and trust can be an issue when working with other agencies. By accepting the challenges each other face and through honesty and having open communication we can overcome barriers such as dishonesty.
Acknowledge each other’s expertise is key for a good working relationship. If there was a problem that an area of expertise was needed, then having worked in partnership with another agency before can overcome this.
If respect isn’t shared then it will have a knock on effect onto all partnership working. Respect is commonly passed between everybody through all walks of life. While working with other partners and agencies then having respect for one another is a bond that needs to be strong. Ultimately the end goal for all parties involved is the welfare of the child, and each and everyone must respect that.
Overall, honesty, trust, acknowledgement and respect all come through and are gained through communication. Once communication is broken down then problems arise from all different partnerships. All these barriers can be overcome through effective communication and keeping all communication channels open. This primarily will improve partnership working. Also you can achieve greater equality, mutual respect and satisfaction, as well as more efficient use of everyone’s time. You can create a positive, empowering and supportive relationship with everyone working together towards the same goals.
Explain own role and responsibilities in working with colleagues. I am a child care officer working in a residential school. The childcare team consists of twelve other officers and three of whom are senior childcare officers.
The residential school has a school-end and a dormitory-end. All childcare officers work in partnership with the teachers as the school run a 24hour curriculum. I am in charge of the middle dormitory that has five boys aged between 13 and 15, as well as two other child care officer. My main responsibilities are to ensure that the children are safe and cared for in the living environment, and that their needs are met emotionally, physically and mentally. Working as a team with colleagues and partners is important as a childcare officer. As part of a team we are able to pass forward any information that may affect any children under our responsibility or any changes or issues around surrounding the team.
The role of a childcare officer can be emotionally draining and it’s vital that I support the staff as well as the behavioural issues the children deal with. As whole the childcare team all support one another and it has a positive effect on the children welfare.
Develop and agree common objectives when working with colleagues. Each child care officer has key children that he/she are responsible for. To develop and agree on common objectives I meet with the colleagues once a week to discuss Individual Developmental Plans (IDP) for the key children.
The IDP is a meeting to agree on a plan on issues and concerns for the child to work on and develop through each week and school term.
All the staff that work closely with the same child have the same objectives, and this is inhouse partnership working along with one another. This approach taken by staff members can have a reflective impact upon a child.
Evaluate own working relationship with colleagues.
I believe that my working relationship with other colleagues is incredibly positive. One of key attributes is that I communicate well at all times. Through effective communication I feel that it increase my confidence and therefore have a positive impact upon the children under my supervision. If the children can see positive behaviour then they tend to follow and I need to lead by example for this to occur.
The childcare team are all very supportive to one another and I feel comfortable asking for advice or guidance when an issue or occasion arises that I feel may need better expertise. Also I feel that my colleagues know that they could without doubt ask me for any support that they feel they may need and I would help them.
I am always looking to improve as a professional and I take great interest of colleagues that have been in the environment for many more years than me. Therefore as well as theoretical learning I also enjoy observational learning through observing my colleagues on a day to day basis.
Deal constructively with any conflict that may arise with colleagues. Personal likes and dislikes must be put aside when working as a childcare officer because your main priority is the welfare of the children.
Having the ability to communicate constructively at all times with other colleagues is essential and if there are any issues that need be resolved, then we are able to do so through effective communication. If there any conflicts that are cause of concern and needed higher authority then our line manager is available to discuss matters. Also in conclusion to this, any issues arising can be brought forward in a staff meeting held at the end of each week.
Issues or concerns should be dealt with immediately so that the team morale and effective team work can proceed.
Explain own role and responsibilities in working with other professionals. The roles and responsibilities are determined by which other professional I work alongside. Each child (depending on the situation) has different working partnership. One of my roles is the responsibility for a child’s health and well being. On many occasions I must take the child to the doctors or dentist. I make appointments with these fellow professionals as well as follow up appointments if needed.
I also work with professionals such as Psychologists, Social Workers, Foster Parents, Youth Offending Team and Youth Workers. I often meet with these in support of the children I am a key worker for. Although at times having these meeting are emotionally difficult for the child, all the professionals are working together to develop the child’s present and future lives.
Develop procedures for effective working relationships with other professionals. Cross Reference with 4.2
Agree common objectives when working with other professionals within the boundaries of own role and responsibilities.
Observation of staff de-brief meeting. Minutes from meeting. Outcome 3.4
Evaluate procedures for working with other professionals.
The school and local authority have procedures put in place when working with many professionals that cover a number of different situations. These procedures are to protect the child and yourself.
Looked After Child (LAC) Review is a procedure which all professionals, carers/parents, and the child work in partnership. This partnership allows all parties including the child the opportunity to give their thoughts and opinions on current issues. It is important that I keep good professional relationships with all that are involved as well as support the child at all times.
Deal constructively with any conflict that may arise with other professionals. As discussed in outcome 1.1, integration is really important when working together with other professionals. One occasion in the last few months I had to deal with a conflict with a foster family and a child regarding a school issue. This caused the child to rebel against the foster family as well as the child being aggressive and threatening. I dealt with the issue constructively by having the family acknowledge the issues that miss informing other professionals can cause problems. I then had to educate and rationalize with the parents and child to resolving the issue. Having all parties accept that resolving conflict is often a necessary process to achieve positive or desired outcomes, and then we can learn and move forward.
Analyse the importance of working in partnerships with others. Ensuring the safety of the child and all partnerships working in childcare is important. On occasions we deal with children that break the law and the police need to be informed. When the nature of the crime is explained to the police, we also need to exchange information regarding the child involved. Through the exchange of information and the other agencies that the police have at their disposal, the potential outcome can meet the individual needs of the child.
This is an example that specific expertise of others was needed to resolve an issue that was other than just breaking the law. The exchange of information, further working partnerships and meeting the individual needs can result in consistency of care for the child. Outcome 4.2
Develop procedures for effective working relationships with others. When a child absconds from the residential school grounds, a procedure has put in place to warrant the safety of the child. The first call is to the senior staff and they are informed immediately that a child has absconded. The school then phone the police to help in the search of the child. Also the school work in partnership with the parents and foster parents to ensure that the issue is explained correctly, what is being done and the outcome of the event. Outcome 4.3
Agree common objectives when working with others within the boundaries of own role and responsibilities.
Evaluate procedures for working with others.
Cross reference with 3.4
Deal constructively with any conflict that may arise with others. Observation
• Equality and Human Rights Commission (2010), Policy, Working Better Childcare Matters: improving choices and chances for parents and children
• Glasby.J.,Dickinson.H.,(2009) International Perspectives on Health And Social Care: Partnership working in action. p162.