Effective multi-agency work in children’s services
This chapter focuses on frontline practice with children and families and explores why practitioners from different agencies and disciplines need to work together to achieve better outcomes for the most vulnerable children. The literature about multi-agency working underlines what a contested area it is – a football continuously in play between politicians, professions and service agencies. The chapter argues, however, that by starting with children and families and by taking a child’s perspective, it is possible to develop a clearer understanding of its importance and how and why it is important and what can help professionals to work together more effectively. The chapter concludes with suggestions of how multi-agency work can be developed to be successful and have a positive impact on the lives of children and their families. The most persuasive advocates for agencies and practitioners working together are undoubtedly children and families themselves, and their perspectives illustrate their experience of contact with services and practitioners, and what they find makes a difference for them.