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What is multi agency working?

A multi-disciplinary core group of professionals from Social Services, Education, Health, parent representatives and the voluntary sector set out guidelines for good practice in delivering autism services within the National Autism Plan for Children (NAPC) (NAS, 2003). The plan makes specific recommendations regarding the diagnostic process and intervention in the early years. This focuses around multi-disciplinary working, including:

  • A need for all professionals to be able to recognise the ‘alerting’ signals of autism
  • The gathering of information relating to the child’s development across settings
  • Joint multi-agency training in autism awareness 
  • IEPs to involve autism management strategies which can be used by parents and staff
  • A key worker identified for each family where a diagnosis of autism is made
  • A commitment to multi-agency working made by budget holders

Based on this evidence, effective multi-agency working is multi-faceted and is more than merely having a child access a range of services and those services communicating with each other. In order to be truly effective, multi-agency working requires good management, adequate resourcing and appropriately trained and skilled staff. The basic tenet should be to provide the best service possible to children and their families. English, A (1999) Working together: a multi-agency approach to supporting parents of children with autism, Good Autism Practice,

Toolbox 2009


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