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The Children’s Act. (2004) was the culmination of the Green Paper DfES. (2003) Every Child Matters:Change for Children Agenda, which dictated that every local authority has power to administer grouped budgets and implement a Children’s Trust in order to pull together services to meet the specific needs of an individual child. Wilson, V. & Pirrie, A. (2000) states that although partnership working is upheld as extremely beneficial for all children, those children with special educational needs and/or disabilities have formed the focus of much of the educational multi-agency activity. The aims of coordinating these services through a shared working practice across the health and education arena whilst providing a therefore seamless service of support and a one-stop shop for all provisions, supported with the collaboration of Multi-agency working, are strongly emphasised within a plethora of governmental literature DfES. (2003/2004). Joint working is therefore unequivocally viewed as the means of providing a more cohesive and therefore effective integrated approach to addressing the needs of the child and family, and in doing so, overcoming many additional stresses that are imposed on families through fragmented support and services and therefore giving the child the best possible start in life DoH. (2006). Although no one argues against the benefits of integrated services Stiff. (2007), and there is clear decisive backing and direction for local restructuring and reorganisation to shape services to meet the needs of the most vulnerable children more effectively, the detail surrounding the configuration and delivery of local services has not been prescribed Rutter, M. (2006). There is minimal research-based evidence regarding the efficiency of multi-agency practice or suggesting which activity carried out by those agencies is most useful, with no absolute model of the many factors influencing its success Salmon, G. (2004). However, the Government has demonstrated a substantial commitment to local authorities developing multi-agency partnerships, providing considerable flexibility for those local authorities and communities to develop their own multi-agency activities, tailored to meet specific needs of their individual areas. However it has often proved difficult to establish the exact impact of multi-agency working, mainly because of the difficulty of isolating why and how a particular outcome has been achieved. This is changing as major programmes are evaluated, Atkinson et al, (2002) states that other commonly identified outcomes of multi-agency work are an increase in access to services not previously available and therefore a wider range of services, easier or quicker access to services or expertise, improved educational attainment and better engagement in education by pupils, early identification and intervention, better support for parents, children’s needs addressed more appropriately, better quality services, a reduced need for more specialist services and benefits for staff within those services.


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