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Title: The development of multi-agency work in children's centres eliciting narratives to understand beliefs and practice and identify new possibilities
Author: Heckels, Tracey
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 7127
Awarding Body: University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2011
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The following study explores multi-agency working practices in three English children's centres. The study highlights the experiences and values of professionals working in the children's centres, in relation to the construction of collaborative working practices, to engage with children, families and the local community. I have adopted a narrative approach to my research by drawing on principles and practices from narrative therapy, as well as approaches from qualitative, action and practitioner research. A reflecting team approach was used to develop, reflect on and reconstruct narratives of successful professional practice. These narratives of success incorporate collaborative working practices, overcoming difficulties and future possibilities. The reflecting team conversations were audio recorded and subsequently transcribed. Thematic analysis was used to generate the main themes from the narratives. Two interlocking thematic networks were developed to represent identified themes and their interconnectedness. The analysis indicates that overarching beliefs and assumptions related to multi-agency work directly influence the process, achievements and enablers of collaboration. Activity theory is utilised to represent the development and mobilisation of knowledge within the children's centres, as well as my own knowledge development as a narrative researcher and practitioner. The findings of the study identify that the development and storying of local knowledge facilitates multi-agency understandings and practices, involving individuals, groups and organisations working together on a joint initiative. The narratives of success reveal implications for regional and national practice in the development of multi-agency approaches, particularly in Children's Services. The adoption of a narrative approach, and the use of a reflecting team as a qualitative research tool, is considered in the context of social constructionist theory and research. Tracey Heckels Doctorate in Applied Educational Psychology 10
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available