Multi-agency working brings together practitioners from different sectors and professions to provide an integrated way of working to support children and families. Their aim is to prevent problems from occurring in the first place. It is an effective way of supporting children and families with additional needs and helping to secure real improvements in their life outcomes.
Multi-agency working is a generic term and takes different forms locally. For example: • A team around a particular child or family (TAC/TAF)
• A panel dealing with needs of individual children or families based on an area or establishment
• Services that work together within a single unit, either co-located or virtual.
• Regular meetings across services (e.g. once a month).
Multi-agency working could involve anyone whose job or voluntary work puts them in contact with children, young people and their families. It is likely to include people from professional backgrounds including social work, health, education, Early Years, youth work, police and youth justice.
Children and family’s needs are very different; the composition of a multi-agency team will differ from case to case. It is important each practitioner brings with them their own specialist skills, expertise and insight so that the child and family gets the best support possible.
Multi-agency working provides benefits for children, young people and families because they receive tailor-made support in the most efficient way. The benefits of this include; • Early identification and intervention
• Easier or quicker access to services or expertise
• Improved achievement in education and better engagement in education
• Better support for parents
• Children, young people and family’s needs addressed more appropriately
• Better quality services
• Reduced need for specialist services
Barriers Common barriers that may occur through multi- agency working are that, professionals may work in different ways and word things differently. People may have been trained in a different role to which they may find it difficult to be managed by a person with different skills. Some people may not be used to sharing their knowledge with others. It’s important that each profession respect one another and that they value there knowledge and