chapter  7
Effective partnership working
Pages 27

As we have seen in Chapter 1, partnerships are usually set up to solve problems beyond the ability of a single person or organisation to infl uence. However, that is no guarantee of success. As Frost points out, the evidence base for partnership working models is problematic – ‘while the task of reviewing the research, say on child placement, would provide relatively clear limits, this is not the case with partnership working. The literature is diffuse’ (Frost 2005). This echoes earlier fi ndings, suggesting that the time-scale to fully implement a partnership working model is much longer than fi rst realised: ‘the consensus

The evidence base for partnership working is poor, but that is not • the whole story The reasons why partnerships either succeed or fail are becoming • clearer and are multi-factorial Proxy measures for partnership working can indicate a way forward, • when it is too early for a formal evaluation Positive partnership outcomes can be more easily demonstrated in • projects than in mainstream services

among researchers is that partnership arrangements consume a huge amount of time, energy and resources to create relatively limited outcomes and outputs’ (Percy-Smith 2006). Much that is said about partnership working is based on beliefs rather than facts, and strongly-held beliefs are hard to change or mediate.