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Reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working: from organisational reform towards a joint engagement of child and family services

Griet Roets (UGent) , Rudi Roose (UGent) , Tineke Schiettecat (UGent) and Michel Vandenbroeck (UGent)
(2016) BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK. 46(2). p.306-222
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Abstract
In a diversity of European countries, an ambitious pursuit of organisational reform is stressed in the field of social work policy and practice, which is rhetorically rooted in ‘joined-up thinking’. Emerging criticism about joined-up working has been identified in the body of available research, particularly in terms of the construction and pursuit of joint goals. In this article, we discuss the empirical findings that were acquired during a recent qualitative research project in Belgium. The underlying assumptions of joined-up working in child and family services were examined in two disadvantaged quarters, bearing in mind the complexity of social work practices in dealing with families in poverty. The perspectives of parents in poverty situations and front-line social workers were explored by means of qualitative, in-depth interviews in combination with the vignette technique. In the research findings, functional and responsive approaches to joined-up working are discussed. We assert that functional approaches to joined-up working undermine responsive and particularly reflexive social work. In that vein, we argue that social workers should discuss the values and dilemmas at play in their responses to complexity at organisational and interorganisational levels. Such collective engagement can lead to reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working.
Keywords
poverty, complexity, child welfare and protection, joined-up working, STREET-LEVEL BUREAUCRACY, SOCIAL-WORK, CARE, PROFESSIONALS, MANAGERIALISM, MANAGEMENT, DISCRETION

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Chicago
Roets, Griet, Rudi Roose, Tineke Schiettecat, and Michel Vandenbroeck. 2016. “Reconstructing the Foundations of Joined-up Working: From Organisational Reform Towards a Joint Engagement of Child and Family Services.” British Journal of Social Work 46 (2): 306–222.
APA
Roets, G., Roose, R., Schiettecat, T., & Vandenbroeck, M. (2016). Reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working: from organisational reform towards a joint engagement of child and family services. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK, 46(2), 306–222.
Vancouver
1.
Roets G, Roose R, Schiettecat T, Vandenbroeck M. Reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working: from organisational reform towards a joint engagement of child and family services. BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK. 2016;46(2):306–222.
MLA
Roets, Griet, Rudi Roose, Tineke Schiettecat, et al. “Reconstructing the Foundations of Joined-up Working: From Organisational Reform Towards a Joint Engagement of Child and Family Services.” BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK 46.2 (2016): 306–222. Print.
@article{5712163,
  abstract     = {In a diversity of European countries, an ambitious pursuit of organisational reform is stressed in the field of social work policy and practice, which is rhetorically rooted in {\textquoteleft}joined-up thinking{\textquoteright}. Emerging criticism about joined-up working has been identified in the body of available research, particularly in terms of the construction and pursuit of joint goals. In this article, we discuss the empirical findings that were acquired during a recent qualitative research project in Belgium. The underlying assumptions of joined-up working in child and family services were examined in two disadvantaged quarters, bearing in mind the complexity of social work practices in dealing with families in poverty. The perspectives of parents in poverty situations and front-line social workers were explored by means of qualitative, in-depth interviews in combination with the vignette technique. In the research findings, functional and responsive approaches to joined-up working are discussed. We assert that functional approaches to joined-up working undermine responsive and particularly reflexive social work. In that vein, we argue that social workers should discuss the values and dilemmas at play in their responses to complexity at organisational and interorganisational levels. Such collective engagement can lead to reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working.},
  author       = {Roets, Griet and Roose, Rudi and Schiettecat, Tineke and Vandenbroeck, Michel},
  issn         = {0045-3102},
  journal      = {BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {306--222},
  title        = {Reconstructing the foundations of joined-up working: from organisational reform towards a joint engagement of child and family services},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjsw/bcu121},
  volume       = {46},
  year         = {2016},
}

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