Social workers in multidisciplinary teams: issues and dilemmas for professional practice
ABSTRACT This paper draws on the findings of a project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council of the UK, examining how child and family multidisciplinary teams learn and work together. It outlines the approach taken by the research team before going on to explore New Labour policy around ‘joined-up thinking’. The paper focuses on the role of social workers in the teams and uses qualitative data to explore the experience of social workers in relation to four key issues: models of professional practice, status and power, confidentiality and information sharing, and relations with external agencies. We argue that these are complex and contested issues that are challenging for the workers concerned. We conclude that whilst joined-up working is complex and demanding, social work is well situated to meet the challenge, and that social workers in multidisciplinary teams are committed to making them work.
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ABSTRACT: Juvenile delinquency with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health disorders has become an increasing problem within the United States. In part this can be attributed to the excessive number of delinquent youth entering the juvenile justice system with untreated substance abuse and/or mental health disorders. In an effort to combat this problem, interagency collaborations have been formed to provide more effective treatment services. One such interagency collaboration is the JETS Program. This study identifies the strengths and limitations of establishing an interagency collaboration within the first year of a juvenile treatment court's inception.Juvenile and Family Court Journal 08/2012; 63(3):21-35. · 0.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The concept of ‘wicked issues’, originally developed in the field of urban planning, has been taken up by design educators, architects and public health academics where the means for handling ‘wicked issues’ has been developed through ‘reflective practice’. In the education of teachers, whilst reflective practice has been a significant feature of professional education, the problems to which this has been applied are principally ‘tame’ ones. In this paper, the authors argue that there has been a lack of crossover between two parallel literatures. The literature on ‘wicked issues’ does not fully recognise the difficulties with reflective practice and that in education which extols reflective practice, is not aware of the ‘wicked’ nature of the problems which confront teachers and schools. The paper argues for a fresh understanding of the underlying nature of problems in education so that more appropriate approaches can be devised for their resolution. This is particularly important at a time when the government in England is planning to make teaching a masters level profession, briefly defined by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) benchmark statement as ‘Decision‐making in complex and unpredictable situations’. The paper begins by locating the argument and analysis of ‘wicked problems’ within the nature of social complexity and chaos. The second part of the paper explores implications for those involved in policy formation, implementation and service provision. Given the range of stakeholders in education, the paper argues for a trans‐disciplinary approach recognising the multiple perspectives and methodologies leading to the acquisition of reticulist skills and knowledge necessary to boundary cross.Journal of Education for Teaching 08/2009; 35(3):241-256.