School of Criminology

Multi-agency and Multi-system

Theme workshop 2: Multi-agency/Multi-systems – 26 January 2023, 10.00am – 1.00pm

The second of our themed workshops was attended by 23 practitioners across 15 organisations. The aim of this workshop was to explore the challenges of ‘Multi-agency/Multi-systems’.

We began the workshop by exploring and clustering issues that related to multi-agency and multi-system working.

This identified four key themes to the issues that are arising in practitioners’ work:

  1. Communication – with issues in this causing duplication of work and impacts on survivors
  2. Mismatch between the requirements of performance indicators and survivor-focussed working
  3. Information sharing/risk assessment – this overlapped with communication in terms of the responsibilities of risk assessment, communicating risk, ways that risk assessment was being carried out, and the involvement of organisations in risk discussions (e.g., MARACs)
  4. Resource management – reliance on 1 – 2 – 1 relationships between organisations; frequent staffing changes means that this relationship building is always ongoing; short-term funding means that staff turnover is inevitable, again impacting on these relationships.

Again, we went through our filtering process and overwhelmingly ‘Communication’ was identified as the key issue. Participants then worked in one of three groups to break this topic down into key questions to address:

  1. What works with multi-agency working? (led by Dr Nick Mai)
    This project will look at what we know works/is best practice in relation to multi-agency working to draw out the key principles of how this can work. Secondly, this project may look at examples of good practice multi-agency working within our organisations to again, examine this issue in practice. Parts of this discussion also overlapped with the organisation/service mapping that we are understanding for a first research phase e.g., in understanding what organisations work in what areas and the victim/survivor journey.

    The findings from this project can be found in the Project Summary: Promoting multi-agency working (PDF, 271kb).
  2. Understanding the working of MARACs and risk assessment process (led by Dr Emma Sleath)
    This project will examine how is risk assessed during the MARAC process and how this information is shared between agencies during the MARAC process. What has worked well with this information sharing process and also what could be improved?
  3. When do service users disengage due to multi-agency communication issues? (led by Dr Emma Sleath)
    This project will draw together some of the evidence from the literature regarding whether (dis)engagement is linked to communication methods/approaches between involved agencies. Secondly, this will speak to survivors to understand this issue and its impact.

Rapid evidence assessment protocol for this mini-project (PDF, 209kb).

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