* Why do children and young people fall 'through the net' and what can we learn from this? * How can joined up thinking be transformed into joined up action? * How might co-ordination overcome some of the current difficulties practitioners and policy makers face in providing and maintaining effective support networks for children and young people? This book argues that the study of inter-agency work has reached a critical point in its long history. It is now in transition between the local, small scale, relatively short lived projects characteristic of the early nineties to the large scale, government supported, national initiatives of the new millennium. The book draws on a detailed case study of an inter-agency project developed during this transition period, to identify factors contributing to successful inter-agency work and to consider the implications for future development. A key factor appears to be the existence of structures both within and between agencies to co-ordinate the co-operative endeavour that practitioners want and young people need. The example of special educational needs teams in mainstream schools is used to illustrate this.
Insights gained from this study contribute to the development of inter-agency theory and practice and of the concept of inter-agency work as a new professionalism.