1.1 Explain the importance of multi-agency working and integrated working. Multi-agency working allows practitioners from different sectors and professions to work together to support children, young people and families. It makes sure that the child has the best support it can have. It has amazing benefits for the child and early identification and intervention allows that child to have tailor made support, thus allowing the child to reach his/her full potential either in their learning or development. It is important that young children and their families have support as a holistic approach which is part of the government framework. For example.ECM Every Child Matters, the five outcomes of ECM is that we should be working together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the children. The five aims are as follows.
1. be healthy.
2. Stay safe
3 Enjoy and achieve
4Make a Positive contribution
5Achieve economic well-being.
A very effect part of multi agency working is inclusion and so they will encourage the child to be a part of whole class learning and will plan and adapt lessons accordingly. So the individual agencies provide different areas of expertise and the child will have the benefit of the holistic approach.
1.2. Analyse how integrated working practices and multi-agency working in partnership deliver better outcomes for children and young people. There are many outcomes for children that will be positive if the professionals working with the children and their families can share and agree upon the way they might assess, plan and implement for the child. Both the children and their parents can be involved in any plans to ensure that a child can achieve their potential both educationally and developmental. It is far more beneficial for the child to have a group of people who are skilled in different areas working with them and their families rather than to have help in only one area.
It is equally important that all professionals involved share information on progress because failure to do so may lead to that child not receiving the best advice or help possible., they also need to meet up on a regular basis with the parents, teachers or any adult that are working on a daily basis with that child to have current idea on their progress. It is also important that if they are working with a child who is culturally different to gain as much information and understanding of their culture and communities. Although sometimes the school cannot support all issues surrounding the child such as housing they can provide an important point of contact and organise other professional help thus giving the child a very good start in life.
1.3. Describe the functions of external agencies with whom your work setting or service interacts. In our setting we have several different agencies that come into the school to give extra support to children. Speech and language therapists come in to initially assess the child, they will then either give us a set programme to follow to enable us to work on a 1-1 basis or with a small group of children, and the programme can include things like listening to / following instructions, pronunciation of certain letters /words. The same programme will be sent home to parents and they will be encouraged to follow it to enable the child to have as much help as possible. The Childs GP may have made the referral to the speech and language therapist if they thought that the child had difficulty in communicating effectively.
Social workers will work with the child’s family to help them improve many things such as housing issues, poverty or any health needs of if there has been a bereavement that the parents or child are having difficulty coming to terms with. Educational psychologists will work with a child who has specific learning needs or psychological needs; they are usually brought in by the setting and will usually work with the child in the setting. TAC (team around the child) This is 2 or more professionals from different areas who come in to support the child and their families, this is done by offering parenting classes and helping the parent cope with day to day situations that they find stressful, for example this could be arranging childcare or advising on budgeting. School nurse comes in to weigh child, do hearing, dental and sight tests and will inform parent of any specific problems which may arise once these tests are completed.
1.4 Explain common barriers to integrated working and multi-agency working and how these can be overcome. Some professionals use their own abbreviated language when talking about their areas of expertise which is only recognised by their profession and so other professionals from different fields may not understand what is being said or meant. Other professional people may be used to working on their own so may find it difficult to share knowledge or accept advice given to them on how to deal with a situation. Different professions may have a different way of dealing with risks and may have different views and priorities on how to deal with children; they may feel threatened or upset when they are asked to find new ways of working. In order to work together successfully it is important that each profession is respected and made aware that their knowledge is seen as a valuable contribution to the multi-agency working… it is also important for the individual professions to open their minds and consider a different approach and to communicate with each other and remember that every profession is working towards the benefit of the child.
The key to a multi-agency running smoothly is to have a lead professional who will act as a point of contact for the child and their families and who will then take responsibility for the other agencies involved and communicate between all of the professionals thus hopefully preventing any barriers. 1.5 Explain how and why referrals are made between agencies. If the class teacher has any concerns about a Childs development or progress and think that that child may have an underlying problem that is stopping them from reaching their full potential such as a hearing, speech or any SEN (Special Educational Needs) then they inform the SENCO (Special Educational Co- Coordinator), they will come and observe the child and then if they think along the same lines then they will decide on which professional to make a referral to. The parent can also ask to be referred to a professional agency if they think their child is having specific difficulties.
The professional then comes in and do their observations and will decide whether that child will need to be involved with several different agencies or with one specific one, such as speech and language. The parents will always be informed and will be involved in any referral process. It is essential that the Childs needs are identified and assessed quickly so that the proper provision can be put in place as soon as possible and the child can participate and be included in mainstream school and reach their full potential. 1.6 Explain the assessment frameworks that are used in own UK Home Nation. As a way of providing early intervention for a child before their situation reaches crisis point the Children’s Act (2004) and Every Child matters (DFES 2003) outlined a Common Assessment framework (CAF). It is a shared assessment and planning framework.
This consists of a form which is filled in by the school (At my setting this is usually completed by the child protection officer) and the parent and can. take between 1 and 1.30 hours to complete. It can include concerns about Childs health and safety within the family, learning and developmental needs, any concerns about poverty within the family or behavioural issues. Once completed the form is sent to the CAF admin who will decide which professionals need to be involved, this could be a single agency such as a support worker who will work closely with the family or a multi-agency (TAC team around the child). By intervening early hopefully this will stop the child being referred to social services and being taken away from their families.
3.3a Analyse the potential tension between maintaining confidentiality with the need to disclose information. Where abuse of a child or young person is suspected. If a child/young person confides in us and discloses information where I suspect they maybe being abused I cannot promise to keep it a secret because I will have to disclose the information given in order to protect them. I would tell them that I have to inform others and that they will not be in trouble, as a main feature of sexual abuse is that the abuser asks the child to keep this a secret and tell them that they will be in trouble if they say something.
I would write down exactly what the child said and date and sign the form and discuss the issue with the child protection officer. Potential tension could occur between myself and that child as they may think that I have let them down and abused their trust and may be reluctant to reveal any more, also if the abuser is a family member then once they have been informed of the disclosure they may be angry and could come to the school and threaten me or my family members, they may also remove the child from the setting and that child would be terrified and feel that everything is their fault.
The suspected abuser could also make allegations against me saying that I am making up the whole story in order to protect themselves and until the abuse is proven they may try to instigate a group of parents to be little me every day which would cause a very stressful and intimidating situation. For an older child they may decide to withhold some of the information and so I would make it clear to them that they have different options such as the NSPCC, Child line, if they felt they could not talk to me. 3.3b when it is suspected that a crime has been/ may be committed. Firstly it is important to define what the crime is and how serious the crime is, as crime can cover a wide range of things from things like DVD Piracy right through to murder.
If I felt the crime would not harm the child or others such as the DVD piracy then I would keep the disclosure confidential because it is important that the trust between child, parent and school be maintained in order for the families to share other information with us. If a child is being hurt or their parents are involved in more serious crime such as abuse, violence, drug trafficking or burglary then it would be obvious that you have to break confidentiality to ensure that the child that you are looking after is not in any significant harm and is safe and protected, and although my reporting the crime to others and the police would cause considerable tension within the family which may even result in a prison sentence and there may be significant repercussions made to me, my duty of care is to that child and I have to protect them at all times.
If it were an older child and they were committing serious crimes themselves then I would inform them that I would have to involve the police and break confidentiality , this would cause considerable tension between the child/ young person and myself as they would inevitably get into serious trouble and they may want to hurt me or my family, they may even find out where I live and burgle my house . If the child was taking or selling illegal substances then I would try to find out why they were doing so and then try to persuade them to seek advice from a drug counsellor or their GP, hopefully my early intervention may cause them to realise that what they are doing is wrong and they may see the error in their ways and change their approach to life and breaking confidentiality would be the right thing to do in order to support the young person in getting the best help available.
Courtney from Study Moose
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