Partnerships in Social Care: A Handbook for Developing Effective Services

Partnerships in Social Care: A Handbook for Developing Effective Services
Keith Fletcher, Jessica Kingsley
ISBN 184310380, £17.99




If you have ever worked in a partnership project with internal and external agencies, you will wish you had read this first, writes Greer Nicholson.

While there is no earthshattering news about shortcuts, there is a lot of advice on how to build an effective partnership.

The charts are useful and aimed at practical situations that actually happen. The case studies show the processes required, without any value judgements or preconceived notions of what is right or wrong.

Much of the book does accept that partnership is the only way to work. However, some of the book’s complete acceptance of the
government’s agenda for social change will irritate the experienced cynic – but it will also provoke thought.

For example, Fletcher argues that “better outcomes and value is the ultimate justification for all public sector partnerships and the reason that governments promote them”.

If you have ever been stuck dealing with the anger that results from poor consultation, you may clench your fists.

Some partnerships aren’t worth the effort but do tick some boxes on a spreadsheet required by a government department.

What is useful in the book is the focus on the clarity required to get results, the advice on getting all the stakeholders to say what they want at the beginning, the cautions against “silo” thinking, the tips on how to use documents and tools to initiate projects, and the helpful instructions on budget control.

Remaining inclusive while watching the detail obsessively is important to success. The advice is sound and this book is a good introductory guide to the subject.

Greer Nicholson is transport and concessionary travel commissioning manager, Newham Council, east London

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