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Title: Children with disabilities and their families : team working and the role of the key worker
Author: Graham, Julia
Awarding Body: University of Brighton
Current Institution: University of Brighton
Date of Award: 2012
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The unique nature of the needs of children with disabilities and the varied dynamics of family life mean that service provision cannot be boxed neatly into the individual arenas of health, education or social care. These children and their families' present service providers with complex challenges that often test the system. The co-ordination of, and communication between, members of the team around the child often falls to the parent. The concept of 'key working' has been suggested as a way of co-ordinating service provision for children with a disability and their families. However, it has been reported that there are less than one-third of these families who have such a support mechanism in place (Department of Health 2004a). The policy and legislative framework exists for the introduction of the 'key worker' system to health, education and social care practice (Department of Health 2oo4a). Therefore, it is difficult to discern why the key worker role is not more prevalent. However a contributing factor may be that there is no universally recognised definition for the role and no consensus on the specific tasks that should be undertaken by a key worker. Using grounded theory methodology, this qualitative study investigated and explored the dynamics of team working for children with disabilities and the process of co-ordination of services with specific reference to the role of the key worker. Using interviews and focus groups data were generated from professional members of the team, as well as parents of children with disabilities. Analysis of the data identified issues in current practice that present barriers to effective team working and the application of the key worker role. A model of supportive practice was developed to promote improved collaborative team working and utilise the key worker role to provide a more positive experience of service provision for children with disabilities and their families.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B000 Health Professions