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Journal article

Working partnerships? A critique of the process of multi-agency working in services to disabled children with complex health care needs

Authors:
TOWNSLEY Ruth, WATSON Debby, ABBOTT David
Journal article citation:
Journal of Integrated Care, 12(2), April 2004, pp.24-34.
Publisher:
Emerald

Recent government policies in relation to children stress the importance of service integration and partnership working, with particular emphasis on combating social exclusion. With reference to findings from a three year empirical study, this article examines some key elements of the process of multi-agency working in services for disabled children with complex health care needs. Highlights some of the barriers to effective partnerships and lists some pointers for policy and practice.

Journal article

The proof of the pudding: what difference does multi-agency working make to families with disabled children with complex health care needs?

Authors:
ABBOTT David, WATSON Debby, TOWNSLEY Ruth
Journal article citation:
Child and Family Social Work, 10(3), August 2005, pp.229-238.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Discusses findings from a 3-year research project, commissioned by the Family Fund and carried out by the Norah Fry Research Centre,  which looked at both the process and impact of multi-agency working on families with a disabled child with complex health care needs. Interviews with 25 parents and 18 children and young people who used six developed, multi-agency services were carried out. Findings suggested that the services had made a big difference to the health care needs of disabled children but were less able to meet the wider needs of the child and the family  particularly in relation to social and emotional needs. Multi-agency working appeared to make some positive, but not significant, differences to the lives of families.

Journal article

Multi-agency working in services for disabled children: what impact does it have on professionals?

Authors:
ABBOTT David, TOWNSLEY Ruth, WATSON Debby
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 13(2), March 2005, pp.155-163.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Whilst agencies in many sectors have been encouraged to work together to better meet the needs of service users, multi-agency working is now a central feature of government policy. In relation to children's services, the National Service Framework, the English green paper, 'Every Child Matters' (DfES, 2003) and the Children Bill (DfES 2004) give a high priority to an integrated approach to service provision. This paper focuses on multi-agency working for disabled children with complex health-care needs, a group of children who, perhaps even more than most, require the many professionals who support them and their families, to work more closely together. Drawing on the findings from a 3-year qualitative research study, this paper examines the impact of working in a multi-agency service on professionals. Interviews with 115 professionals concluded that staff were overwhelmingly positive about working as part of a multi-agency service. They reported improvements to their working lives in areas such as professional development, communication, collaboration with colleagues, and relationships with families with disabled children. However, whilst professionals felt that they were able to offer families a more efficient service, there was concern that the overall impact of multi-agency working on disabled children and their families would be limited.

Book

Making a difference?: exploring the impact of multi-agency working on disabled children with complex health care needs, their families and the professionals who support them

Authors:
TOWNSLEY Ruth, ABBOTT David, WATSON Debby
Publisher:
Policy Press
Publication year:
2004
Pagination:
84p.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Bristol

Almost thirty years of research has consistently shown that families with disabled children would prefer the many agencies that they encounter to work together more effectively. Since 1997, a strong policy emphasis on the importance of ‘joined-up’ working has promoted the benefits of partnerships. In response, many projects and services have been established throughout the UK that aim to implement better joint work whilst improving quality of life for this group of children and their families. There is, however, a notable lack of information about the nature of multi-agency services for children with complex health care needs. And, crucially, the impact that these partnerships have on families and children.

Book

Food for thought: effective support for families caring for a child who is tube fed

Authors:
TOWNSLEY Ruth, ROBINSON Carol
Publisher:
Norah Fry Research Centre
Publication year:
2000
Pagination:
163p.
Place of publication:
Bristol

Describes the practical, social and emotional impact of home enteral tube feeding on disabled children, their families and carers. Discusses the daily experiences of families and children coping with tube feeding; the involvement of non-parent carers and their training, guidance and insurance needs; and the support offered to families by health, education and social care professionals.

Journal article

More than just a health issue: a review of current issues in the care of enterally-fed children living in the community

Authors:
TOWNSLEY Ruth, ROBINSON Carol
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 7(3), April 1999, pp.216-224.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This article reviews the literature on support for children who are tube fed and makes a case for more co-ordinated and effective support services for families who are tube feeding a child at home. It is argued that national guidance should be developed which clarifies the position of all non-parent carers and staff who are willing to administer enteral tube feeds. Such guidance should also ensure that enterally-fed children have the same rights to educational and social services as other children and that families are given the opportunity to make informed decisions about the implications of enteral feeding prior to it being established.

Journal article

What rights for disabled children? Home enteral tube feeding in the community

Authors:
TOWNSLEY Ruth, ROBINSON Carol
Journal article citation:
Children and Society, 13(1), February 1999, pp.48-60.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

The growing number of disabled children who are tube fed at home has important implications both for families and professionals who support them. This article reports on the preliminary findings of a project which aims to assess the practical, social and emotional impact of home enteral tube feeding (HETF) on the lives of disabled children and their families. The evidence presented suggests that guidance and training on HETF for non-parent carers is both inadequate and inconsistent. Consequently access to education and social services may be restricted or even denied for disabled children on HETF as a direct result of their perceived need for nursing or medical care.

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