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Title: Collaboration between education and social work authorities in assessing children's special educational needs
Author: Farmakopoulou, Ignatia
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis comprises an exploratory study of inter-professional and inter-agency collaboration between Scottish education and social work authorities in assessing the special educational needs of children under 5. In involves an investigation of collaborative arrangements as well as an examination of the experiences and perceptions of a number of key players involved in the process of assessment. The study is set against a background in which a series of policies advocate, and in some cases require, interagency collaboration, while reports from the field demonstrate that such collaboration is limited in extent, poor in quality and difficult to effect. The study aimed to gather data from professionals involved in the assessment process as well as from the parents of children who underwent assessment, and to analyse the findings in terms of the main conceptual models for inter-organisational collaboration. A multi-method approach was used in the study, where quantitative data collected in the first stage through a postal survey of all social work and education authorities in Scotland and qualitative data gathered in the second phase via the use of case studies which used a range of research methods. Semi-structured interviews with education, social work staff, parents of case study children as well as with a limited number of health and voluntary organisation representations were carried out in three case study authorities. The question explored advantages and disadvantages of interagency collaboration and different collaborative arrangements, factors influencing and collaborative and key issues in the assessment process. The postal survey and, subsequently, the detailed case studies revealed a number of interesting similarities and differences in the nature, quality and extent of collaboration between education and social work authorities. Variations in the services officered to children under five were also identified in the case-study authorities as well as a number of internal and external factors that influenced such collaboration. The findings support previous studies concerning the frequency and quality of inter-agency collaboration, since collaboration continues to be limited in extent and poor in quality. The study concludes that effective inter-agency collaboration entails the recognition of the inter-related inhibitory environmental and intra-organisational factors, a consistent effort and a strong will to minimise, if not, eliminate them.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available