Multi-agency working - a model for good practice
In a recent Community Care report, North Ayrshire children's services have been hailed as a progressive model for the whole of Scotland. The report is a the result of an inspection this year, during which the HMIE inspected the work of North Ayrshire child protection committee – a strategic partnership between North Ayrshire Council, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Strathclyde Police, the Scottish Children's Reporter Administration (SCRA) and the voluntary sector – within the community.
The inspection reported that the underlying success of the council's children's services is improved multi-agency working, which ensures a more proportionate response. Iona Colvin, corporate director of social services at North Ayrshire Council backs this up, claiming that multi-agency working is a crucial component of children's services. According to Colvin, "A lot of multi-agency training goes on so that services – in particular, the NHS and the police, feel that when they're meeting families they will recognise when something is not quite right. They'll know how to escalate it or who to ask". Supporting social workers in their work is also highlighted as an important consideration for the success of services.