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The organisation of interagency training to safeguard children in England: a case study using realistic evaluation

Author(s): Demi Patsios | John Carpenter

Journal: International Journal of Integrated Care
ISSN 1568-4156

Volume: 10;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: interagency training | partnership working | interprofessional education | interagency working | realistic evaluation | child protection

Background: Joint training for interagency working is carried out by Local Safeguarding Children Boards in England to promote effective local working to safeguard and promote the welfare of children.Purpose: This paper reports on the findings of the outputs and outcomes of interagency training to safeguard children in eight Local Safeguarding Children Boards.Methods: A review of Local Safeguarding Children Board documentation, observations of Local Safeguarding Children Board training sub-group meetings and a series of interviews with training key stakeholders in each Local Safeguarding Children Board were used to assess how partner agencies in the Local Safeguarding Children Boards carried out their statutory responsibilities to organise interagency training. 'Realistic Evaluation' was used to evaluate the mechanisms by which a central government mandate produced particular inter-agency training outputs (number of courses, training days) and joint working outcomes (effective partnerships), within particular Local Safeguarding Children Board contexts.Results: The 'mandated partnership' imposed on Local Safeguarding Children Boards by central government left little choice but for partner agencies to work together to deliver joint training, which in turn affected the dynamics of working partnerships across the various sites. The effectiveness of the training sub group determined the success of the organisation and delivery of training for joint working. Despite having a central mandate, Local Safeguarding Children Boards had heterogeneous funding and training arrangements. These resulted in significant variations in the outputs in terms of the number of courses per 'children in need' in the locality and in the cost per course.Conclusions: Interagency training which takes account of the context of the Local Safeguarding Children Board is more likely to produce better trained staff, effective partnership working, and lead to better integrated safeguarding children services.

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