A comprehensive overview of inter-agency working as a strategy to reduce educational inequalities and discrimination

Auteur :

J. Barnes

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Korte beschrijving

Based on the literature and views of service providers and policy makers (N=61), this report provides a summary of the political framework likely to support inter-agency working and provides a measure to represent this quantitatively. It involves top-down state level policies in combination with strong local capacity to provide bottom-up implementation. Devolvement of power with integrated governance is beneficial, as is involvement of ‘third sector’ organisations with a social mission. Case studies support this view. In countries with a higher rating on this measure, surveyed parents (N=3942) experienced more support, in centres and home visits.

Respondents in case studies (N=8) of successful inter-agency collaboration and service providers and policy makers (N=61) highlighted the main facilitators, barriers and perceived impacts of inter-agency working. In addition to both top-down and bottom up support, the importance of strong leadership was highlighted. Staffing issues were specified among barriers; inter-agency working may involve professionals taking on new roles and training and salary structures need to be adjusted. In addition, tighter data regulations have proved a challenge for agencies wishing to share data about children and families.

The extent of inter-agency working experienced by practitioners responding to a survey (N=132) was moderate at best and low with agencies not focused on child services. Families experiencing disadvantage often need support from a range of agencies beyond education and childcare so more collaboration with other agencies would reduce family stress and probably improve outcomes.



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