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Durham e-Theses
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Professional Identity in a Multi-agency Team

PRATT, JEANNE,MARIE (2012) Professional Identity in a Multi-agency Team. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Although multi-agency working isn’t a new concept, the previous Labour government encouraged professionals and services to work collaboratively and in partnership to address issues of social exclusion, poverty and deprivation in order to provide support and interventions to children, young people and their families.

As a result, a range of initiatives and programmes under the banner of multi-agency working were developed in health, education and social services aimed at addressing these issues. One such initiative was the development of the multi-agency Behaviour and Education Support Teams (BEST). Previous research into multi-agency working has tended to focus on the structural development of the multi-agency service, including the barriers and benefits to multi-agency working. Less research has been undertaken on the perceptions, experiences and views of the individuals working within those multi-agency teams.

Using a grounded theory approach this thesis explores the perceptions and experiences of individuals working in a multi-agency team, considering the impact multi-agency working has had on individual team members, their interactions with one another and selected school staff, co-located within a secondary school. In analysing the data (content analysis, observations and semi-structured interviews) the use of a qualitative research methodological approach has enabled the research to identify an emerging category of professional identity and three properties; roles and responsibilities, knowledge and skills and terminology. Running through the discussion of each of these three properties is the issue of co-location. The research will draw on examples taken from the data to illustrate and to inform throughout.

Using Wenger’s (1998) ‘communities of practice’ as a theoretical framework, this research then considers the emerging theme of professional identity and how multi-agency teams and selected school staff negotiate the experience of self [identity]. Finally the research asks and answers the question ‘Is BEST a ‘community of practice’?

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Education
Keywords:multi-agency, 'communities of practice', Behaviour and Education Support Team
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Education, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Aug 2012 09:59

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