Watson C (ed.) (2012) The transformation of children's services: Examining and debating the complexities of inter/professional working. London: Routledge. http://www.routledgementalhealth.com/books/details/9780203818411/
Can we imagine different ways of working together to secure better outcomes for children and families? What are the complex issues that underlie the apparently simple call for ‘joined-up' services?
Children's services in many countries around the world are being transformed as part of the call for ‘joined-up working for joined-up solutions'. Social, health and educational policy discourses are driven by the idea that ‘effective' inter/professional, interagency collaboration is crucial in determining whether service delivery to children and families will succeed or fail. However, the rapid turn from previous inter/professional practices of liaison, consultancy, cooperation and collaboration to more radical and wholescale service integration and sector transformation has not been accompanied either by a well considered research agenda of hard questions nor close scrutiny of its effects and consequences.
The book asks a series of searching and challenging questions:
- What are the complex issues involved in children's sector transformation for all those involved - young people, practitioners, leaders and managers, policy makers?
- How can the ‘silos' in which professionals have traditionally been prepared for practice be broken down?
- What are the orthodoxies that surround ‘joined-up' working and in what ways should they be challenged?
Written by authors from across the wide range of professional, policy and disciplinary groups involved in this new cross-cutting area of policy and practice, this book provides a critical analysis of the complexities of children's services transformations. The research in this collection addresses the range of discursive, policy and organizational developments associated with the transformation of children's services, providing an important and timely analysis of their complexities and is essential reading for all those working in the complex spaces of children's services.
Reviewed for British Journal of Special Education by Professor Ian Menter:
'One of the distinctive features of the collection as whole is its very serious attempt to bring theory to bear on policy analysis… Overall, this is a very stimulating collection.'