This research, funded through NFER’s Research Development Fund, explores the impact of social care professionals working within the multi-disciplinary environment of an extended school. It identifies a range of different models of multi-agency activity between social care professionals and extended schools, as well as a number of key issues for consideration (including challenges, key factors for success and benefits) when adopting such a collaborative approach.
- Integrating social care professionals into extended schools represents a significant shift in working practices for both agencies, which, certainly in the early stages, is likely to result in certain challenges, particularly those associated with understanding and adapting to different working practices and cultures.
- However, the benefits of this type of service integration are seen as significant, and any challenges encountered were not insurmountable. The three main benefits of social care professionals working with extended schools highlighted were: earlier identification of needs and quicker access to services; a better understanding and knowledge of roles and responsibilities between social care and education colleagues; and a more coherent, holistic package of support.
- At the early stage of integrated service development during which the research took place, the main finding from the study was that non-qualified staff (e.g. family/pupil support workers or care officers) could successfully take on the social care role and remit within the extended school environment. This tended to be largely focused on prevention and early identification of lower-level needs.
How to cite this publication:
Wilkin, A., Murfield, J., Lamont, E., Kinder, K. and Dyson, P. (2008). The Value of Social Care Professionals Working in Extended Schools. Slough: NFER.
Wilkin, A., Murfield, J., Lamont, E., Kinder, K. and Dyson, P. (2008). The Value of Social Care Professionals Working in Extended Schools (Research Summary). Slough: NFER.