Collaborative Practice with Vulnerable Children and Their Families: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Collaborative Practice with Vulnerable Children and Their Families

1st Edition

By Julie Taylor, June Thoburn


119 pages

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Collaborative Practice with Vulnerable Children and Their Families focuses on the knowledge and skills needed by professionals who work across disciplines to meet the needs of parents and children experiencing complex difficulties. It establishes the importance of both interprofessional and interagency collaboration.

After detailing the characteristics of parents and children who may be in need of specialized services, the authors describe different approaches to service delivery in theory and practice, provide case examples and exercises, and address the developments in interprofessional education for those currently working in the field. They present evidence supporting collaborative practice as a means of achieving better outcomes for vulnerable children and their families, and explore the difficulties in working successfully across agencies and disciplines.

A provocative examination focused on the wellbeing of families in crisis and the care they receive, this book:

  • Introduces terms that are used in collaborative practice
  • Details the legal mandate for working with families experiencing complex problems
  • Provides legal definitions of ‘children in need’ and with a right to receive "targeted" services
  • Outlines the circumstances that require court action (family law and criminal law) to protect children from "significant harm"

Collaborative Practice with Vulnerable Children and Their Families examines the values and ethical standards shared by all professionals who work together to help at-risk children and their families, and serves as a definitive guide to professionals in social work, nursing, general practice, pediatrics and related professions.

A volume in the series CAIPE Collaborative Practice Series

Series edited by Hugh Barr and Marion Helme


"This lively and engaging book makes an essential contribution to this woefully neglected area. It takes the reader step-by-step through key areas of law, values and research-based knowledge to encourage confident and compassionate collaborative practice."

—Professor Marian Brandon, University Of East Anglia, UK

"The content is particularly useful to those who have decision-making and case-accountable roles in providing services to vulnerable children and their parents …This is a timely and interesting book, which I thoroughly recommend."

—Jane V. Appleton, Professor in Primary and Community Care

Table of Contents

Collaborative Practice: An Essential Component of the Service to Vulnerable Children and Their Families

Introduction: Why This Workbook and Why Now?

The Mandate to Work Collaboratively

The Organisation of Service Delivery to Support Collaborative Practice

Interprofessional Education and Training for Collaborative Practice with Children and Families

Key Texts on Collaborative Working and IPE

Who Are the Children and Families Most Likely to Need Additional Supportive and Protective Services?


Which Children and Families Are Most Likely to Be in Need of Additional Services?

What ‘Additional Services’ Might Be Needed?

Case Vignettes

Key Texts on Children and Families Most Likely to Need Additional Supportive and Protective Services

Working Collaboratively within Legal Mandates and Statutory Guidance

Overview of the Legislative Powers and Duties

The Legislation

The Duty to Collaborate

Services Provided with Parental and Older Child Agreement

Compulsory Intervention

Statutory Orders Limiting or Terminating Parental Rights and Responsibility

Criminal Investigations

Collaborative Working When Children Are Looked After

Key Texts on Working Collaboratively within Legal Mandates and Statutory Guidance

The Value Base for Working Collaboratively with Vulnerable Children and Families

Introduction: Shared Professional Values

Professional Codes of Ethics and Standards

Registered Professionals

Record Keeping and Confidentiality

Confidentiality and Information Sharing in Practice

Key Texts on Value Base for Working Collaboratively with Vulnerable Children and Families

The Knowledge-Base for Collaborative Practice

The Policy Dimension

Messages from Research and Evaluations about Collaborative Practice

Issues Emerging from the Theoretical and Practice Literature


Key Texts on the Knowledge-Base for Collaborative Practice

Towards Effective Collaborative Practice


Some Approaches to Helping Vulnerable Children and Families

The Essential Elements of Effective Interprofessional Collaboration

Collaborative Practice in Action with ‘Vignette’ Families


Key Texts on Effective Collaborative Practice

CAIPE/Radcliffe Collaborative Practice Workbooks: Series Appendix


About the Authors

June Thoburn, CBE, LittD, is an emeritus professor of social work at the University of East Anglia (UEA). She qualified as a social worker in 1963 and worked in local authority child and family social work and generic practice in England and Canada before taking up a joint appointment at UEA in 1979. As a founding director of the UEA Centre for Research on the Child and Family and of the Making Research Count collaboration, she has a particular interest in finding innovative ways of helping social workers to use knowledge from a range of sources in their practice.

Julie Taylor, PhD, FRCN, RN, MSc, BSc (Hons), is a nurse scientist specializing in child maltreatment. She is professor of child protection in the School of Health and Population Science at the University of Birmingham, with previous chairs at the Universities of Edinburgh (NSPCC Child Protection Research Centre) and Dundee (School of Nursing and Midwifery). For three years (2010–2013) she was Head of Strategy and Development (Abuse in High Risk Families) with the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). She is the author of eight books and over 100 academic articles.

About the Series

CAIPE Collaborative Practice Series

The CAIPE Collaborative Practice Series is an essential forum for sharing research and practice in interprofessional education. Drawing on the expertise of its editorial board, the series focuses on improving collaborative practice and, in that way, improving the quality of care and people’s experiences of it.

Written by experienced teachers, practitioners and researchers from across the health and social care professions, the books in the series are:

  • designed for professionals and students interested in working more collaboratively
  • focused on areas of practice where interprofessional collaboration is an urgent priority
  • sourced from across a wide range of practice settings, including child and family practice, public health and critical care
  • concise, accessible and readable

CAIPE (Centre for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education) is an independent thinktank. It aims to promote and develop interprofessional education with and through its individual, corporate and student members, in collaboration with like-minded organisations in the UK and overseas, for the benefit of patients and clients.


Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Health Care Delivery
MEDICAL / Nursing / Pediatric & Neonatal
MEDICAL / Pediatrics