In the context of the 'cross-cutting' policy ambitions of the current Labour government, Working together or pulling apart? examines the contribution of the NHS to the multi-agency and inter-professional child protection process. Applying the insights of policy network and inter-organisational analysis, the text:
provides detailed information on the current role played by a range of health professionals within child protection;
investigates the nature and operation of the central policy community and local provider networks;
considers the tensions arising from differences of professional power and knowledge, organisational cultures and agendas, and governance and regulation;
examines the impact of wider socio-political changes on the operation of the child protection process, at both central and local levels.
Working together or pulling apart? will be essential reading for all those working in child protection, at both strategic and frontline levels, within the NHS and other agencies. In addition, it will be of interest to staff and students on undergraduate or postgraduate courses in health, social work, public and social policy.
Carol Lupton is the Director of the Social Services Research and Information Unit and Reader in Applied Social Science at the University of Portsmouth. Nancy North is Principal Lecturer in Health Policy at the University of Portsmouth. Parves Khan is a Research Fellow in the Centre for International Social and Community Development at the University of Southampton.
Contents: Introduction; Models and metaphors: the theoretical framework; Policy communities and provider networks in child protection; Knowledge and networks; Accountability, agencies and professions; Power and politics in the NHS; Reluctant partners: the experience of health and social care collaboration; A system within a system: the role of the Area Child Protection Committee; Agents of change? The role of the designated and named health professionals; Sleeping partners: GPs and child protection; Health visitors and child protection; 'Healthy' networks? NHS professionals in the child protection front line; Conclusion.