Questions to be answered:
- What specific legislation or policy is relevant to your current work setting and what reference is made to Inter-professional and/ or multi agency working ?
- To what extent are the directives a reality and what are the factors impacting on this?
Current legislation and policy drivers I child protection teams in Wales.
- Children and Families (Wales) Measure
What it states- 3.29 We have already legislated to secure integrated services to meet the needs of families with complex needs. The Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010 places a statutory duty of cooperation on health and local government. It has established pioneer Integrated Family Support Teams .We see these as the core building blocks for integrated services for children and will roll out this way of working across Wales.
- Sustainable Social services for Wales –A Framework for Action 2011
The paper promised ….
- Citizen centred services
- Reduce complexity and duplication
- Supported by a competent and competent workforce
- Key focus on integration
- Social Services and Well –being (Wales) Act 2014
Key policy and legislation. A timeline of examples 1968-2014
The timeline gives a selective chronology of examples of policy, commissioned reports and legislation in England and Wales that contain important implications for social work and social care in relation to interprofessional practice.
Examples identify developments, variously, in policy, organisation and practice. The list concentrates primarily on aspects relevant to the theme although the document in question may concern many other issues.
Seebohm Report, 1968: White Paper
The report set out the shortcomings of the fragmented post-war growth of ‘personal social services’, including social work. It proposed a major restructuring of the divided personal social services into a single, unified Social Services Department. It also argued for cooperation across the spectrum of welfare state services and more effective cooperation by different professionals.
Colwell Inquiry, 1974: Inquiry Report
The report found failures in communication and liaison among professionals and agencies aware of Maria’s vulnerability and in identifying the signs of child abuse, themes similar to those found in later inquiries, including the Victoria Climbié Inquiry (2003). It led to inter-agency area review committees (later area child protection committees), formalised child protection case conferences and an at-risk register.
Better Services for the Mentally Ill, 1975: White Paper
Set out how health, social services and the voluntary sector should work together to provide community-based services.
Mental Health Act, 1983: Legislation
Created the approved social worker role (ASW), establishing an independent assessment responsibility alongside medical recommendations on the need for compulsory hospital admission or admission to guardianship. Duties were given to the local authority alongside the health authority to provide after-care for people detained under certain sections.
Butler-Sloss Inquiry, 1988: Inquiry Report
Reported an overall failure to achieve essential communication and co-operation between police, health and social services. Confirms the fundamental requirement that professionals and agencies concerned with child abuse must work closely together within agreed guidelines.
Children Act, 1989: Legislation
Gave local authorities a duty to ensure that children in need are identified and their needs met by the arrangements established between statutory and voluntary services. Local authorities can ask for the help of any other authority, including health authorities, who are normally expected to comply. The act and subsequent guidance refer to parental responsibility, involvement of parents and children and the importance of inter-agency cooperation.
Caring for People, 1989: White Paper
Followed the Griffiths Report on the use of public funds to support community care policy. It promoted domiciliary care, inter-agency collaboration in both the assessment of need and design of care arrangements by local authorities, and practical support for carers. Assessment and ‘care management’ were made the cornerstone of high quality care.
National Health Service and Community Care Act, 1990: Legislation
Required local authorities to produce community care plans in cooperation with health, housing and voluntary organisations, including carers’ organisations. Gave a duty to the local authority to assess and where applicable to meet a person’s need for community care services, in cooperation with other agencies. Subsequent policy guidance stressed that local collaboration is the key to community care.
Modernising social services, 1998: White Paper
Aimed to create a system of integrated, user-centred services based on better partnership between agencies, especially, health and social care. Priorities included promoting people’s independence and improving quality of care and protection.
Crime and Disorder Act, 1998: Legislation
Established a Youth Justice Board and multi-agency Youth Offending Teams which include professionals from the police, probation, social services, substance misuse, housing, health and education.
Partnership in action, 1998: Other Report
Introduced the government’s intention to enable health and local authorities to develop pooled budgets, lead commissioning and integrated services.
Working together to safeguard children, 1999: Other Report
Set out how all agencies and professionals should work together to promote children`s welfare and protect them from abuse and neglect.
National service framework for mental health, 1999: Other Report
Expected good coordination between all staff and agencies and the effective use of multi-professional teams. It also sought services that are well suited to those who use them, are non-discriminatory, and involve service users and their carers in planning and delivery of care.
Health Act, 1999: Legislation
Placed a new Duty of Partnership on health and local authorities and sought to remove obstacles to partnership by providing the financial flexibilities set out in Partnership in Action (1998).
No Secrets, 2000: Other Report
Provided guidance on local inter-agency policies, structures, procedures and joint protocols for investigation and action when a vulnerable adult is believed to be suffering abuse. This initiative prompted the publication of the Welsh version In Safe Hands.
Framework for the assessment of children in need and their families, 2000: Other Report
Produced primarily for the use of professionals and other staff involved in undertaking assessments of children in need and their families under the Children Act 1989. It is addressed both to social services departments, as lead agency, and to other agencies. It aims to facilitate a common language and understanding of children’s needs, to enhance interprofessional communication on assessment and assist inter-agency referral.
Valuing People, 2001: White Paper
Partnership working, through local partnership boards and interprofessional/inter-agency cooperation are seen as central to achieving the four key principles of rights, independence, choice and inclusion for people with learning disabilities.
(Victoria Climbie) The Victoria Climbié Inquiry, 2003: Inquiry Report
Described the gross failure of the child protection system among agencies in the NHS, social services, the voluntary sector, the police and housing. It emphasised the need for closer co-operation, co-ordination and communication across and between services in order to prevent a recurrence of administrative, managerial and professional failures.
Every Child Matters (ECM), 2003: Green Paper
A response to the Victoria Climbié Inquiry, it proposed: improved inter-agency information sharing and cooperation; work in multi-disciplinary teams; a ‘lead’ professional role; the creation of Local Safeguarding Children Boards; and, in the long term, integration of key services for children and young people in Children’s Trusts under a Director of Children’s Services.
Children Act, 2004: Legislation
Aimed to transform children’s services and safeguarding, following the Green Paper (2003), but without legislating for Children’s Trusts. Local authorities were required to appoint a director of children’s services and promote cooperation with other key agencies who should also work to safeguard and promote the welfare of children. The Act allowed for the creation of databases to support professionals in sharing information.
Working Together to Safeguard Children, 2006: Other Report
Addressed to practitioners and managers, it set out how organisations and individuals should work together to safeguard and promote the welfare of children, stressing shared responsibility and the need to understand the roles of others. It described the role of local safeguarding children’s boards (LSCBs), training for inter-agency work and the detailed processes for managing individual cases. These elements are ‘statutory’ guidance, which requires compliance.
Mental Health Act, 2007: Legislation
Amended the 1983 Act, including broadening the group of professional practitioners who undertake approved social worker (ASW) functions, to be known as Approved Mental Health Professionals. Concurrently, the code of practice of the 1983 Act was updated, stressing interprofessional collaboration in assessment and after-care planning and involvement of patients and carers.
The Children and Families (Wales) Measure 2010; Legislation
This Act places a statutory duty of cooperation on health and local government. It established pioneer Integrated Family Support Teams seen as the core building blocks for integrated services for children and rolled out across Wales
Sustainable Social Services for Wales-A Framework for Action; Other report.
This paper promised to….
- Develop citizen centred services (choice)
- Focus on integration (efficient delivery models)
- Reduce complexity and duplication
- Develop a competent and qualified workforce
- Focus on information sharing between services
The Social services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2104; Legislation
As a result of this legislation as series of directives were issued including a new National Outcomes Framework; citizen centred services and integrated services that aim to reducing complexity. It was stated that “Regulations will ensure that, where practical, professionals work jointly to provide integrated care and support in delivering the outcomes required.”