Developing collaborative relationships in interagency child protection work
By Michael Murphy

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This book is about more than safeguarding children. It is an exploration of the interagency, collaborative nature of that safeguarding task. It is accessible, understandable and promotes a positive, collaborative agenda.

In the period after Lord Laming's Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié, the government is changing boundaries in childcare, to foster collaborative interagency work. But this reorganisation can only address part of the interagency problem. This book takes several further steps by examining:
  • why collaborative work in childcare is so difficult to achieve
  • what can individual practitioners and agencies do to promote collaboration
  • the perspectives, roles and training of key groups of practitioners
  • how we can all move towards a model of positive collaborative practice.

  • This work was inspired by government advice and guidance about interagency child protection work, which always seemed to presume too much. This book does not presume too much - it explores, it explains and it attempts to be helpful and relevant to practice.

    Originally published as Working Together in Child Protection (Ashgate 1995) that first edition was informed by all the changes that the Children Act 1989 inspired. This second edition has been made necessary by the plethora of changes introduced subsequently into childcare practice by Working Together to Safeguard Children, Framework for Assessment of Children in Need. More importantly, it comes in the wake of the profoundly distressing Inquiry into the death of Victoria Climbié where, once again, the difficult nature of interagency work has been highlighted. It explores the Government's response to the Laming Inquiry and its response to the interagency 'problem' including Keeping Children Safe and the green paper Every Child Matters. It explores particular points arising from this complexity and determination by use of numerous practice scenarios, drawn from relevant practice.

    Large format. 176 pages. 978-1-903855-48-5. 2004. £17.95

    The interagency context
    What is interagency child protection work?
    How one system works
    The structural blocks to interagency working
    Agencies and practitioners
    The Social Services Department
    The Health Service
    The Education Service
    The legal system and related practitioners
    Voluntary organisations and new Childcare Partnerships
    Working together
    Child protection work and the individual
    Towards good practice


    "Lies at the core of much of the new legislation and guidance, tackling interagency work in a realistic and honest way, with a minimum of jargon… refreshingly honest about why effective collaborative work can be so hard to achieve." Community Care.

    "Examines what individual practitioners and agencies can do to promote collaboration… and how a model of positive collaborative practice can be achieved." ChildRIGHT.

    "Identifies a number of ways forward - for both individual practitioners from different disciplines and, crucially, for the cultures and structures of the many professions involved." Young People Now.

    "Straightforward explanations of procedures and the roles of different agencies and case studies and practice scenarios dawn from everyday child protection practice." Care & Health.

    "Murphy writes with clarity and authority and the book is hugely readable and accessible.. He acknowledges that interagency work is difficult but writes in a way which inspires and encourages the reader to want to try to surmount the difficulties… This book is intended to be 'theoretically challenging and practically useful' and for me it succeeds. It promotes a positive approach to collaborative working… a very constructive book. I strongly recommend it to all managers and practitioners." VISTA.