Assessment and Intervention in School-Based Practice: Answering Questions and Minimizing Discrepancies
This chapter indicates that effective links between agencies may be compromised by discontinuity in interagency communication, by perceived professional boundaries, by unrealistic demands placed on parents as communicators of key data, and by unclear goals for collaboration. A qualitative approach was used, based on the assumption that a rich description and subsequent analysis of the lived experiences of the participants would provide a basis for understanding how interprofessional teamwork and interagency collaboration actually functioned. It has been noted that ineffective communication protocols can hinder interagency collaboration. Flexibility was found to be as significant in relationships between agencies, as it was in interprofessional teamwork. The medical practitioners typically concentrated their communication among themselves, but they indicated a willingness to communicate more widely with teachers and others on request and within the protocols of confidentiality. The benefits to teamwork derived from the synergy of members' interdependent efforts, can also be translated into the arena of interagency collaboration.