Multi-agency teams work together by bringing practitioners from all different sectors and professions within childcare to provide effective and in depth way of working to support children and young people. This includes support of that child or young person’s family. Multi-agency teams work together to ensure the children and young people that require additional support have exactly the right professionals around them to achieve their maximum potential. Assessment may include:
▪Parents and family
▪Specialist Teachers for Learning Support, Hearing, Vision, Sensory Impairment, Autism/Complex Communication Difficulties
▪Speech and Language Therapist
In addition to parents, one or more of these people may be involved, helping to gain an understanding of children’s communication strengths and needs, and how speech and language can be developed. They can also provide information, advice, guidance and training. If a child needs support from a speech therapist, a social worker, teacher and health worker, then a team of those professionals will be set up, but with the consent of the child, young person and family. Support may include:
▪Speech and language therapist
▪Specialist teachers for Learning Support, Hearing, Vision, Sensory Impairment and Complex communication/Autism
These people with specialist knowledge and skills support the people in daily contact with the child. They try to remove barriers to achievement, agree strategies, provide training and identify, and sometimes provide, resources By working together, the team will enable children to make maximum progress and improve the quality and ease of their lives. The members of these teams will share information and support each another so that the child / young person’s needs are met as efficiently and effectively as possible. There are some circumstances where multi-agency teams work together literally in one place. There are other examples where teams may operate virtually- via email/ web cam. The role of a practitioner requires them to meet regularly to discuss the needs of the child or young person in question. This is so they can plan and carry out coordinated, targeted interventions. Development may include:
▪Parents and family
▪Early Years setting staff such as playgroup leaders, nursery nurses and play/nursery assistants
▪School staff such as teachers, teaching assistants and lunchtime supervisors
▪Before & after school care.
These people listed above are the people who come into contact with the child in question every day. They apply their training and knowledge to the situation and know how to be good communication partners, and how to provide a good communication environment. They are the ones actively developing the child’s speech and language. They can share ideas about what does and what does not work for individual children.
Worcestershire County Council and Worcestershire. (2011). Effective multi-agency working and collaboration. Available: http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/cms/speech-language-communication/targeted-s
pecialist-provision/effective-multi-agency-working.aspx. Last accessed 18/9/14.