Tightening the safety net: an exploration into the current communication and collaborative working between schools and social services for children in need and to determine whether there is a role for school social workers in tightening the safety net for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people ‘in need’ to promote positive outcomes

Flindall, Rhiannon (2010) Tightening the safety net: an exploration into the current communication and collaborative working between schools and social services for children in need and to determine whether there is a role for school social workers in tightening the safety net for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people ‘in need’ to promote positive outcomes. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (804kB)

    Abstract

    Providing services for children ‘in need’ is a complex issue as the Children Act 1989 does not give a clear definition of need. Due to the resource restraints and pressures on social services, local authorities apply strict criteria to enable them to manage the volume of referrals they receive. These criteria vary from one local authority to another, creating inconsistencies within services for children ‘in need’. Due to the quantity of contact schools have with children and young people on a daily basis schools are able to identify early signs of children ‘in need’. These early signs identified by schools are often not enough to permit social service intervention even though early intervention is being promoted within recent legislation due to local authorities strict criteria. Consequently schools are left isolated until their concerns have become acute, creating great confusion and tension between schools and social services. The confusion and tension experienced by both schools and social services adversely affects their ability to communicate and collaborate, creating further barriers for children and young people to receive the timely and effective support that they require. This research includes a literature review as well as primary research using questionnaires to obtain the views of education and social work professionals on the effectiveness of the current level of communication and collaboration between schools and social services. The work also assesses whether placing social workers within the schools would improve collaboration and communication between schools and social services and help tighten the safety net for vulnerable and disadvantaged young people ‘in need’. The research suggests that school social workers have the ability to support schools to meet the individual needs of children in need. The school social workers role would increase hands on work with children and young people, improving job satisfaction for social workers and providing more resources for teaching staff enabling them to concentrate on their primary role that is to educate. School social workers would have daily contact with the community thereby improving the public view of social workers that would increase the numbers of referrals coming from parents themselves. Additionally, the research suggests that costs may be reduced by school social workers preventing pupil exclusions and encouraging greater staff retention therefore decreasing the cost of staff training and staff recruitment.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences and Social Work
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/810

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...