The collaboration between services for children and families, in fields such as education, health, social work, and welfare, is increasingly recognized as important to tackle social and educational inequalities.
To improve outreach and efficiency of social responses and services, it is important to identify facilitating factors, barriers, and impacts regarding the collaboration between services.
The ISOTIS team interviewed heads of services, coordinators, and local government representatives about these topics. The interviews were conducted in nine European countries: the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, and the United Kingdom.
The findings of these interviews are included in a new ISOTIS report. The executive summary is available here. The full report will be available soon.
According to the report, public, private, and non-profit entities are playing an increasingly important role in the implementation of measures to promote inclusiveness.
The government has a key role in supporting the collaboration between services, by coordinating, monitoring, and/or providing funding.
Support from the organizations was highlighted as important by the interviewees, namely to ensure the continuity of human resources, and appropriate professionals' time and task allocation.
Involving the professionals working in the field and the services' users was acknowledged as relevant to enhance the provision of relevant services that match the local needs.
Investing in professional development, defining agencies and professionals’ roles, and clarifying lines of communication between them were also mentioned key factors to ensure the commitment of all the stakeholders involved.
The evaluation of impacts and monitoring of collaboration between services were found as major priorities. The evaluation of children’s outcomes is particularly scarce. Developing evaluation and monitoring plans, and participatory diagnoses to promote changes can constitute a key contribute to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the collaboration between services.
This new report was edited by Joana Guerra, Catarina Leitão and Clara Barata (University of Coimbra).