Working in partnership is very important when working in a childcare setting. When working in a childcare setting you need to work together with parents and other staff. You need to be able to cooperate with other staff members and also other adults in general. These could be working with: Parents, Carers, Colleagues, Professionals and also, Multi-Disciplinary teams. If you do need to work with any of these people you need to have good skills, they need to be able to communicate well with the other people and also be able to openly exchange information and also share their knowledge and experience, they would also need to understand each other’s roles. This would be called multi-agency working or integrated working. When working in a setting if you all work well as a team then work becomes a lot easier and a lot less stressful and the work will become more effective. Young people will also benefit from the staff working together, it will have a positive impact on their lives by impacting their; Health, development, learning and also, their relationships. Even if you are not responsible to contact other agencies it would be good to observe other members of staff communicating with other agencies. Working in partnership will be beneficial towards the children you are working with. If you work properly with other people the following benefits will happen;
It gives children the best possible start in life
It makes sure that everyone who communicates is communicating about the child
It allows specialist advice to be given to improve daily work
It will allow the people supporting the child to think about the whole of the child
It will help improve communication with the entire family
When working in a childcare setting you will most likely meet some people of other organisations and people who provide support for some of the children, some of these people could be someone from another setting in the area or a health visitor among others. If you provide more agencies in one setting the agencies can work a lot more closely together for the well-being of the child. When in my setting we often work with a multitude of agencies, some of the agencies we work with are:
We work with health visitors to identify the need for the child
We work with speech and language therapists to help the child if they have speech or language problems
We also work with the parents to know if the child is feeling well and also if the child has done anything new recently.
We have a multitude of information services available to use at any time with information that we need
Working with colleagues from other settings to ensure that we are doing our job to the best of our ability.
When I work with children I often have to communicate with other people that I’m not used to in the setting. If the practitioner is able to observe children, assess children’s needs, plan support and implement action plans then most outcomes are going to be positive. Working in conjunction with parents necessary so that everyone is able to have a shared approach. When working with children who need support it is a necessity to communicate with the parents of the child. So that everybody knows what information is able to be shared, and the definition of confidentiality, they do this so everyone has a shared approach when it comes to tackling the child’s needs. Parents know a lot more about their child than anyone else does, so taking into consideration their opinions on certain topics will help support the child’s needs. Everyone you are working with needs to do this as not much will be done without the parents input. In decision making, parents need to be equals when making decisions because with their knowledge of the child they can give some support of what to do with the child’s needs, this is called empowering. Any partner that is involved in decision making needs to be competent to do their role, they need to be able to provide support and acknowledge they can’t give the child the support they need without the parents input. All partners need to work effectively with each other, they can do this by agreeing on the aims and goals of what they’re working on through negotiation with the input of the parents. In Early Support Family Service, they created an initiative called family files. Family files are a file of information that the parents compile and update about their children and family. This is a very important file when it comes to the welfare of the child as the parents are able to show new people what they want them to know about the child and their needs. The family need to add information as time goes on to make sure that the child gets the full benefits of what the child can do and their needs. The family file allows people to show how they like to be communicated with and also when they are available for appointments. As family files are about the family, they need to show some things about the family, it shows some of the most important people in the child’s life, other things the service needs to know about the family and also things you’d like the services to know about when they first meet the child so you don’t have to constantly repeat yourself.
When working in a team, most people know that it can be difficult at time. I have been in this situation as well, this could be down to bad communication skills on my behalf or on my colleague’s half. There are many potential barriers to communication in the workplace:
The person who you’re communicating with has got different skills to you and manage different priorities and manage risks differently
The person you’re communicating with may not be used to sharing information and will be resilient to do so
Each person in a different profession may have their own type of slang in their profession called “jargon”
The person you’re communicating with may not like communicating with people outside of their own job
There may be a language barrier with who you’re communicating with, this will make it harder to transfer information between you and them
When doing this it is useful to have all of their voices heard and respected, the professionals in the room need to find ways to share the information they know and also work together to help the children. Another useful bit of useful information to give out is the role you do when working with the child and how you impact their life.
When working together in a setting to get the best outcome possible for a child it is a necessity to have good and clear communications between the different people working with them. Having clear communication and effective communication is useful because it allows everyone to work on the same page as each other and achieve the same and the best outcome possible for the child and also to achieve the best outcome possible for the family of the child. If someone is communicating ineffectively in the child’s life then information is going to be lost and not told to other people that need that information. When working in a nursery, a child may be going to see someone who offers them support with something in their life whether this be speech and language or other things. If the information and the help the child is getting isn’t relayed down to the nursery they are in, the child won’t be getting the help that they need in nursery and may go back to having support from a specialist again. Another example of effective communication being a necessity is when a child attends more than one setting. If the child goes to different settings then the child may be learning different information all the time and it is always good to have an update of the child every so often to make sure the child is either developing at a good pace and isn’t lagging behind in any way or the child is developing at a good rate and what has the child learnt in the other setting and how is their development doing, also telling the other setting about the child’s interests, this will help the setting create tasks and plans on how to get the child to their fullest potential.
When in a setting you will often come across a lot of private information when it comes to children or their families. You will probably hear about sensitive information such as money problems, relationship problems among other things. Children do have rights and these rights need to be respected and handled very carefully. When working with children it is hard to balance children’s rights and the need to work effectively with the parents. Every setting should therefore have policies and procedures about information sharing and staff should be made aware of them.When working in a setting there will usually be pieces of policies and procedures that relate to the exchanging of information. They should be able to promote multi agency communication which allows the transfer of communication of information between settings and other agencies. There should be one for the continuity of care with the child with different settings, if one child is getting a lot of support in one setting then when they move setting it should be the exact same amount of care if not better. Policies and procedures should be available to anyone who needs to know what they are, this includes; Parents, carers, staff members and also other agencies so everyone is on the same page when it comes to the policies and procedures. Policies and procedures should be there to explain the roles and also the responsibilities that the staff members in the setting need to follow. This allows the staff members to see what they can and can’t share to other organisations and other members of the child’s life. Staff members need to know that any information they write down can be used as evidence so when the practitioner writes down any information about the child they should write down what the child says exactly instead of what you think they said. This information is useful to share with other members of staff and managers. The government has got many laws that settings need to adhere to, one of these is the Data Protection Act 1998, this act applies to everyone who keeps data on other people in their setting whether it be on a computer or on paper files. It says personal data should only be obtained for specified purposes, it should be updated when necessary and also must not be kept for longer than necessary. Parents are an important asset when it comes to the data protection act, they need to have access to the information you have stored and also if you are planning on exchanging the information you need to ask the parents for permissions to do so, if they don’t give you permission then you can’t share it. Another bit of legislation that everyone needs to adhere to is the Childrens Act 2004.