This is the most important partnership as Parents/carers need to feel happy with the setting and the staff who work there. They will want and expect the highest level of care for their child. Building a partnership with Parents/carers will ensure good communication and the sharing of important information regarding the child, such as needs, wants and development. Building trust with parents/carers will make them willing to have an open door policy with any family issues and concerns.
Sharing information with professionals will enable the arrangement of effective support and services, where needed, to improve the overall development of the child. For example, working on specific recommendations by a speech and language therapist may assist a child with communication difficulties to engage more effectively within the setting.
It is vital that all parties within a multi-disciplinary team work in partnership. For the most effective results, all information must be available. This enables different disciplines to share their skills resulting in more effective support and outcomes for the child.
Working closely with colleagues and sharing information, such as observations, can add to a greater understanding of the child and their development. Working as a partnership helps to provide a consistent level of care. It also helps develop the skills across the staff team, as well as providing more effective learning/play environment.
The relevant partners that work in the setting would be:-
Area Senco, which stands for Area Special Educational Needs Co-Ordinator are there to support the setting in meeting children’s additional needs and enable them to reach their full potential.
Educational Psychologists are there to help with problems such as learning difficulties, social and emotional problems and behavioural problems.
These work with families and carers who are pregnant or have children under 5. The health visitor can help parents with such as problems like how to look after children to keep them safe from harm, how to help child grow and develop, give information about the immunisation, diet and advice on feeding, weaning and dental health, referring families to the specialists.
These work with people who have been socially excluded or who are experiencing crisis. Their role is to provide support to enable individuals to help themselves and they step in if there is a concern about child’s welfare and safety. Social worker works in a variety of settings supporting individuals, families and groups within the community.
Speech and language therapist
These help children and adults who have difficulty producing and using speech difficulty understanding language, difficulty using language, difficulty with feeding, chewing or swallowing, a stammer and a voice problem.
The characteristics that are important in good partnership working are to:
Breaking down barriers
Regular updates and reports
Working to an agreed plan
Meeting set targets
Plan and meeting with parents to improve child’s development
There are many potential barriers that can affect good partnership working. These could be a language barrier, incorrect information given or knowledge, a misunderstanding, poor communication or cultural and or religious attitudes to disability. Other barriers could be the parents own education, previous experience, individual practitioner’s lack of knowledge of other professions, poor staff morale and poor morale from partners. The wrong or insufficient partners involved and continual shifting of organisational structures and not planning in advance when things go wrong.
Clear effective communication is not only required but also necessary to achieve the best outcome for all those involved. The key principles of partnership are openness, honesty and agreed shared objectives. All documents should be clear and concise, well written and dated. Any face to face meetings should have minutes taken, an agenda and a plan of action agreed that is sanctioned by all those involved and all telephone conversations should be recorded. If a breakdown between all partners involved in the Childs care, there may be an emotional, physical or intellectual impact on the Childs development.
Policies and procedures give clear messages to staff about their roles and responsibilities and set the boundaries within which they are expected to work. It is also important to remember policies and procedures are there to make sure that the best possible practice is maintained and developed to provide the best bare and learning environment for the child. In the workplace information shared between colleagues depends on child’s developmental needs. The parent, keyworker and manager are the only people that are allowed to access children’s records. When sharing information with parents only the keyworker or manager is able to do this and it can only be about the child belonging to that parent. The policies that covers this are:
Confidential Policy & Agreement
Data Collection Sheet Details
Data Protection Policy
If a child attends two different pre-school settings, one setting may have concerns regarding a specific area of the child’s development. These concerns may not be experienced in the other setting and may result in a conflict of views. The dilemma with having 2 different settings disagreeing over the child’s development can sometimes cause confusion for the parents.
If you believe or have concerns that a child in your care may be suffering or may be at risk of significant harm, you may be unsure whether your concern gives a reasonable cause to believe that this is happening. In a situation like this your concern should not be ignored and you should approach your manger. You should not discuss the matter with anyone who does not need to know and protect the identity of the child and family involved. If you do have concerns it is not advisable to discuss the matter with the family until appropriate partners have been informed and agreed plain of action has been agreed. Sometimes a person may not specifically ask a member to keep information that they have given about themselves or another individual confidential and would of course assume that this is implied, the person may then share this information with others, who are not part of the setting partnership.
Sadly there may be a child in your setting, who is believed to have a physical or learning disability. Sometimes a parent may find it hard to cope and would rather with the not acknowledge the situation and refuse to cooperate with the setting MU2.9 2.4 & 2.5
It is important that information is recorded clearly, accurately and concisely and in a way that meets any legal requirements on you or your setting is under. Settings will require information such as observations, assessments, incidents and injury, medical information, concerns about a child, risk assessments, records or meetings to be recorded in different ways. There are different kinds of reports. When information is being recorded you have to make notes that can be written up later, write clearly using correct format, keep to the points and complete as soon as possible. Clearly means to be able to reach an understanding.
Accurately means that the information is correct.
Legibly means that the information must be able to be read and understood.
Concisely means that the information is exact.
Information has to be clear, accurate, legible and concise so that professionals and parents/carers are able to read and understand what is written. It is a legal requirement for records to be clear and legible. The law that covers recording and sharing information is Data Protection. The different ways that communications and records can be kept are by electronically, memos, a communication book or a required format such as an incident form. In my workplace these are stored in a named folder which will be kept in a locked cupboard. Records are also stored electronically on a laptop which would then be password protected.
Sometimes children may need additional support from outside their setting and it is necessary to make a referral. A child may be referred for: –
To audiology for a hearing impairment
To speech and language for dyslexia or speech problems
For emotional needs such as behavioural problems
This would all be done through the SENCO person who would ask for parents’ permission before referring.
To build positive relationships with parents/carers you would have parent meetings, 2 way book, letters, meet & greet parents, reports and open viewings of the setting. To maintain these relationships you would keep them updated, sharing information, make time to talk and again use the 2 way book. Partnerships with parents/carers are important because any problems can be solved quickly so if help needed with development it doesn’t go unnoticed and parents can work with child at home. Examples of when you may find it difficult to develop and maintain a partnership with parents/carers are:- If the child has irregular attendance which would lead to limited opportunity to talk to parents and monitor child’s development Limited communication skills
If the parent has a disability such as hearing, sight or being unable to read and write.