The Transformation of Children's Services
Examining and debating the complexities of inter/professional working
Can we imagine different ways of working together to secure better outcomes for children and families? What are the complex issues that underlie the apparently simple call for ‘joined-up’ services?
Children’s services in many countries around the world are being transformed as part of the call for ‘joined-up working for joined-up solutions’. Social, health and educational policy discourses are driven by the idea that ‘effective’ inter/professional, interagency collaboration is crucial in determining whether service delivery to children and families will succeed or fail. However, the rapid turn from previous inter/professional practices of liaison, consultancy, cooperation and collaboration to more radical and wholescale service integration and sector transformation has not been accompanied either by a well considered research agenda of hard questions nor close scrutiny of its effects and consequences.
The book asks a series of searching and challenging questions:
- What are the complex issues involved in children’s sector transformation for all those involved – young people, practitioners, leaders and managers, policy makers?
- How can the ‘silos’ in which professionals have traditionally been prepared for practice be broken down?
- What are the orthodoxies that surround ‘joined-up’ working and in what ways should they be challenged?
Written by authors from across the wide range of professional, policy and disciplinary groups involved in this new cross-cutting area of policy and practice, this book provides a critical analysis of the complexities of children’s services transformations. The research in this collection addresses the range of discursive, policy and organizational developments associated with the transformation of children’s services, providing an important and timely analysis of their complexities and is essential reading for all those working in the complex spaces of children’s services.
Table of Contents
Part One. Introduction 1. Introducing the complexities of inter/professional working Joan Forbes and Cate Watson Part Two. Policy, theory, discourse: the complexities of collaborative working 2. Complexity, identity, failure: contemporary challenges to working together Andrew Cooper 3. Partnerships: the politics of agendas and policy implementation Andrew Eccles 4. Transprofessional social capital in children’s services: dis/connects in policy and practice Joan Forbes 5. For whom the bell tolls: education, care and the possibility of professional practice in uncertain times Ian Stronach and John Clarke Part Three. Preparing practitioners and leaders for inter/professional practice: identities, connections, knowledges 6. Social capital connections: troublesome knowledge and early career practitioners James McGonigal and Julie McAdam 7. Perspectives on identity: being and becoming a headteacher Michael Cowie and Megan Crawford 8. Professional identities: developing leaders for inter/professional practice Gary Crow 9. The challenge of articulating a common language: CAT and the socially constituted self Ian Kerr Part Four. Questioning the orthodoxies of collaboration 10. Transforming social work identities: towards a European model? Mark Smith 11. Emergent spaces: looking for the civic and the civil ininitial professional education Julie Allan 12. The pretty story of ‘joined-up working’: questioning interagency partnership Cate Watson 13. Probing the limits of collaboration: professional identity and institutional power Walter Humes Part Five. Conclusion 14. Inter/professional children’s services: complexities, transformations and futures
Joan Forbes is Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Children’s Services Research and Policy Study in the School of Education, University of Aberdeen.
Cate Watson is Senior Lecturer in Professional Learning in the School of Education, University of Stirling.