Multi-disciplinary professional work with children
Submitting InstitutionLeeds Metropolitan University
Unit of AssessmentSocial Work and Social Policy
Summary Impact TypeSocietal
Research Subject Area(s)
Medical and Health Sciences: Public Health and Health Services
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration, Sociology
Summary of the impact
Professor Frost has undertaken a substantial body of work relating to
multi-professional work with vulnerable children and young people. This
has had an impact on public policy and practice, through publications,
conferences and Professor Frost's direct engagement with public bodies.
Through engagement with public bodies Professor Frost's work has helped to
inform, influence and change policy and practice. There has been an impact
on the work of Safeguarding Boards, in the field of child sexual
exploitation and on the practice of multi-disciplinary working across a
number of organisations.
Frost's research has been primarily concerned with multi-professional
interventions with children and young people and the organisation of
children's services. The work has explored the nature of
inter-professional work and how professionals can improve the process and
outcomes of such work.
The body of work draws on a number of projects including:
ESRC 2002-05 New forms of Professional Knowledge and Practice in
multi-agency Services, R000239916 £122,061
Research in Practice Literature review - Integrated Practice on of the
frontline (2005-2006) Leeds City Council Various projects - 2007-2013
ESRC 2013-15 Effective and Appropriate Sharing of Information
Frost (with colleagues) produced one of the first evidence-based books on
multi-professional work with children, `Developing Multi-Professional Work
for Integrated Children's Services', which outlines the findings of an
ESRC funded project. This book was published as an up-dated second edition
in 2010, with a 3rd edition being recently commissioned. A
number of refereed journal publications have also been produced, some of
which have been submitted as part of the REF exercise.
Frost produced a literature for Research in Practice in 2005 on
integrated working for frontline professionals. This has been converted
into a training programme for frontline managers and professionals that
has been delivered in local authorities nationwide during 2012/13.
Frost has contributed two chapters to a forthcoming Open University text
book on multi-disciplinary working with children and young people. These
chapters bring together research that to the best of our knowledge never
been synthesised in this manner previously.
In summary the body of research draws on Wenger's theory relating to
`communities of practice' and applies this concept to the field of
professional work with children and young people. The research focuses on
a) the extent of growth of multi-professional work with children and young
people b) how actual practice is operating and how this can be understood
c) how professional practice can change to bring about improved outcomes
for children and young people. Methods utilised include face-to-face
semi-structured interviews, focus groups, observation, documentary study
and surveys. The findings have implications for frontline staff, their
managers and leaders and for policy makers. Professor Frost has engaged at
all these organisational levels on a regional, national and international
basis. The research can contribute to influencing and changing
professional practice and can make a contribution to improving outcomes
for children and young people.
References to the research
Frost, N. (2005) Professionalism, Partnership and Joined-up Thinking: a
research review of front- line working with children and families,
Research in Practice, Dartington.
Anning, A., Cottrell, D., Green, J., Frost, N., and Robinson, M. (2010) Developing
Multi- Professional Work for Integrated Children's Services, 2nd
edition, OUP, London
Frost, N. A future for Interdisciplinary professional work; mainstream to
oppositional? In Brock, A. & Rankin, C. (eds) (2011) Professionalism
in the early years interdisciplinary team: supporting young children and
their families. London: Continuum.
Frost, N. and Parton, N. (2009) (eds) Understanding Children's Social
Care. London: Sage
Frost, N. Leading children's services: some contemporary issues and
challenges, Journal of Children's Services, 4:3 pp 50-59
Frost, N & Stein, M. Outcomes of Integrated working with children and
young people, Children and Society, 2009, pp 315-9
New forms of Professional Knowledge and Practice in multi-agency
Services, R000239916 £122,061
Leeds City Council 2007-13
Consultancy role of children's services £105,000
Research in Practice 2004-2012
Producing literature review and production of training pack £10,000
Effective and Appropriate Sharing of Information ES/K00557x/1
Details of the impact
Professor Frost was appointed as the Independent Chair of Bradford
Safeguarding Children Board, for a four year period commencing in 2010.
This is a leadership position involving working with senior managers of
children's services - including health, social care, criminal justice and
education. The work involves taking complex decisions about the management
of situations where children have died or experienced serious incidents.
The appointment arose directly from research presentations and
dissemination relating to multi-disciplinary work. The chairing role
delivers an income stream for the University. The contract with Bradford
finishes 30th January, 2014. The local authority area was
subject to an Ofsted inspection during 2012 during which the partnership
working (which included the Safeguarding Board) was found to be excellent.
Professor Frost has recently been appointed to the equivalent role in
North Yorkshire, commencing 1st September, 2013. His research
activity was mentioned by the organisation as an underlying reason for his
appointment. The Chief Executive of North Yorkshire issues the following
statement to staff following the appointment:
`I am very pleased to announce that Professor Nick Frost has been offered
and accepted the role of Independent Chair of North Yorkshire Safeguarding
Children Board. The selection process involved strong partner
representation from the Board's Executive and they were unanimous in their
recommendation. Nick has a long and distinguished career in safeguarding
and wider children's services. He has published widely particularly on
multiagency partnership working and brings a positive collaborative style
to build on the work of our previous chair'.
The Chairing of Safeguarding Boards has a direct impact on policy and
practice with children and young people. The work includes monitoring
service delivery, enhancing multi-disciplinary work and addressing any
inter-professional conflicts that arise between professional and/or
Professor Frost also Chairs a West Yorkshire wide group (2012-present)
addressing the complex issue of child sexual exploitation together with
the police. Professor Frost has utilised his research findings to
influence the delivery of services around Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE).
In Bradford services have developed, under the influence of Professor
Frost, to develop a multi-disciplinary, `co-located' hub, which has
significantly enhanced the delivery of services. This has led directly to
an increased number of arrests of suspected perpetrators and significantly
improved services for children and young people. At a meeting held in July
2013, with the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire and the Police and Crime
Commissioner, Professor Frost was praised for his leadership in the field
of challenging the sexual exploitation of young people.
Professor Frost was appointed an Associate for the organisation Research
in Practice in 2010, which aims to ensure that research findings have an
impact. He has developed a training pack on multi-professional work for
dissemination within local authorities. He has worked directly with a
number of multi-disciplinary teams to help them plan their work and
service delivery. This has a direct impact on the way that services are
configured, designed and delivered.
He has also acted as a research advisor to the Republic of Ireland
government (2008-09) on multi- disciplinary working. This led to the
publication of a number of reports which have directly influenced Irish
policy and practice through promoting good practice with children and
families. See you tube http://www.caab.ie/Events/Event-Videos-Main/Events-Videos.aspx?videoID=13
Professor Frost has close links with a wide-range of statutory
organisations (including the Department for Education, and a number of
local authorities) and voluntary organisations (including Home-Start,
Action for Children, CLIC Sergeant, Barnardo's and the NSPCC) for which he
contributes to conferences, `away days' and service planning. All these
events help to shape practice and policy.
Professor Frost is regularly invited to give keynote addresses on topics
relating to multi-disciplinary work with children - during the last two
years over 20 such addresses at international (Denmark and Eire), national
and regional conferences. These are largely practitioner-based conferences
attended by senior managers, policy makers and practitioners in the field.
As a result of these inputs Professor Frost is often asked to run
workshops, away days and related events with managers and practitioners.
Professor Frost has contributed two chapters to the forthcoming Open
University book that underpins programmes relating to multi-disciplinary
work with children and young people. This book makes a contribution to
influencing and shaping the workforce of the future.
Sources to corroborate the impact
Brock, A., Frost, A. Karban, K., Smith S (2009) Towards
inter-professional partnerships: a resource pack, Leeds Metropolitan
Director of Children's Services, Bradford Metropolitan Council
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council Department of Children's
Head of Workforce Development, Leeds City Council Children's Services
Director of Children's Services, North Yorkshire County Council Corporate
Director - Children and Young People's Service
Independent Consultant and former Social Services leader.