This paper presents an exploratory qualitative study of interagency collaborative efforts in handling child abuse and neglect cases in a large Midwestern city, USA. Data from individual interviews discuss the nature of interagency collaborations, professionals’ perceptions and experiences with collaboration, and difficulties in collaborative practice. Three major themes emerged in relation to positive experiences of collaboration: improved communication and information sharing, improved service delivery and client outcomes, and availability of support among professionals. Analyses from this initial exploration revealed that a great deal of collaboration occurred across agencies, and that collaborative processes were often positive and rewarding for workers. The barriers in collaboration included differences in philosophies, practices, and goals; leadership and role clarity issues; and scheduling problems. The study points out gaps in collaboration across disciplines and provides suggestions for improvements.
|Keywords:||Interagency Collaboration, Multidisciplinary, Teamwork, Child Welfare, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Protection|
Doctorate Candidate and Lecturer, Graduate School and University Center, Hunter College School of Social Work, The City University of New York, New York, New York, USA
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