Mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence are widespread psychosocial problems that co-occur and make a distinct contribution to a comprehensive assessment of an abusive family and an abused child as well as to treatment planning and intervention. However, the challenge of knowledge and practice-integration becomes especially complex when two or more of these problems are involved in a case. This paper describes an innovative multidisciplinary clinical consultation team model that offers child protection caseworkers direct access to consultants in mental health, domestic violence, and substance abuse. It analyzes experiences of professionals engaging in collaborations; benefits and challenges of teamwork; and effective teamwork strategies and conditions under which they flourish. The study findings revealed several themes related to positive experiences as well as challenges in multidisciplinary consultations. Recommendations on how to overcome these challenges are discussed. Narratives from individual interviews highlighted the interplay of key elements that influenced and shaped team practice. Implications are drawn concerning successful collaboration practices associated with the organization and implementation of a multidisciplinary consultation team model in child welfare.
|Keywords:||Multidisciplinary, Child Welfare, Child Abuse, Teamwork, Collaboration|
Doctorate Candidate and Lecturer, Graduate School and University Center, Hunter College School of Social Work, The City University of New York, New York City, New York, USA
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