Inter-agency cooperation between services for children and families in Ireland: does it improve outcomes?

Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/271555
Title:
Inter-agency cooperation between services for children and families in Ireland: does it improve outcomes?
Authors:
McKeown, Kieran
Affiliation:
Social and Economic Research Consultant
Citation:
Kieran McKeown, (2012) "Inter-agency cooperation between services for children and families in Ireland: does it improve outcomes?", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 7 Iss: 3, pp.191 - 200
Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Journal:
Journal of Children's Services
Issue Date:
2012
URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10147/271555
Item Type:
Article
Language:
en
Description:
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse the processes and outcomes of a five-year initiative to develop inter-agency working between services for vulnerable 10- to 18-year-olds in a disadvantaged area of Dublin, Ireland. Design/methodology/approach – A case study methodology included: review of documentation on 32 formal meetings of the network; 43 interviews with agency personnel involved in the network; in-depth review of nine randomly selected cases which had been treated according to the network's agreed protocol of inter-agency case management. Findings – The initiative created a vibrant inter-agency process in terms of developing and implementing an agreed protocol for inter-agency care planning. However, assessment of the outcomes for young people and their families showed that only a few made any improvement. Four reasons are suggested for this relatively modest result: the target group of 10- to 18-year-olds had experienced neglect and abuse over many years and this made it difficult to achieve positive outcomes for them; the quality and standard of work by some staff in some agencies was questionable; agencies did not seem to include inter-agency work in assessing their overall performance, or the performance of individual staff; and most agencies did not seem to have adopted an outcome-oriented, evidence-based approach to their work. Originality/value – The paper points out that an effective and inclusive inter-agency process is necessary but not enough for improving child outcomes; the sufficient condition for improved child outcomes is effective intra-agency processes to deliver high-quality services and a policy environment that supports and requires it.
Keywords:
COOPERATIVE BEHAVIOUR; CHILD CARE; FAMILY SUPPORT
Local subject classification:
INTERAGENCY COOPERATION

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorMcKeown, Kieranen_GB
dc.date.accessioned2013-03-08T13:58:22Z-
dc.date.available2013-03-08T13:58:22Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationKieran McKeown, (2012) "Inter-agency cooperation between services for children and families in Ireland: does it improve outcomes?", Journal of Children's Services, Vol. 7 Iss: 3, pp.191 - 200en_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10147/271555-
dc.descriptionPurpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse the processes and outcomes of a five-year initiative to develop inter-agency working between services for vulnerable 10- to 18-year-olds in a disadvantaged area of Dublin, Ireland. Design/methodology/approach – A case study methodology included: review of documentation on 32 formal meetings of the network; 43 interviews with agency personnel involved in the network; in-depth review of nine randomly selected cases which had been treated according to the network's agreed protocol of inter-agency case management. Findings – The initiative created a vibrant inter-agency process in terms of developing and implementing an agreed protocol for inter-agency care planning. However, assessment of the outcomes for young people and their families showed that only a few made any improvement. Four reasons are suggested for this relatively modest result: the target group of 10- to 18-year-olds had experienced neglect and abuse over many years and this made it difficult to achieve positive outcomes for them; the quality and standard of work by some staff in some agencies was questionable; agencies did not seem to include inter-agency work in assessing their overall performance, or the performance of individual staff; and most agencies did not seem to have adopted an outcome-oriented, evidence-based approach to their work. Originality/value – The paper points out that an effective and inclusive inter-agency process is necessary but not enough for improving child outcomes; the sufficient condition for improved child outcomes is effective intra-agency processes to deliver high-quality services and a policy environment that supports and requires it.en_GB
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherEmerald Group Publishing Limiteden_GB
dc.subjectCOOPERATIVE BEHAVIOURen_GB
dc.subjectCHILD CAREen_GB
dc.subjectFAMILY SUPPORTen_GB
dc.subject.otherINTERAGENCY COOPERATIONen_GB
dc.titleInter-agency cooperation between services for children and families in Ireland: does it improve outcomes?en_GB
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentSocial and Economic Research Consultanten_GB
dc.identifier.journalJournal of Children's Servicesen_GB
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