2.5 The benefits of working in partnership
Partnership working is based on an assumption that ‘there are situations in which working alone is not sufficient to achieve the desired ends’ (Huxham, 1996, p. 3). We have already touched on some of the benefits that can come from working in partnership. We will now explore in a little more detail the benefits for organisations, for practitioners and for young people.
Activity 5: Thinking about the benefits of working together
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At its best, partnership working can provide practitioners with new opportunities for learning, as they develop their understanding of the way in which different agencies and professionals work, the skills that each can offer and the different perspectives that they bring. It is not just about sharing knowledge and experience, but also about bouncing ideas off each other, which can help to spark new ideas.
In order to realise these benefits, though, Chauhan (2007) reminds us that:
… such an approach requires the strengths of individual agencies to be drawn upon, an expectation that there will be mutual respect among key partners and an acknowledgement that what is at stake is local democracy not just the financial interests of individual organisations.
We have spent some time examining the benefits that come from working in partnership. We will now look at some of the challenges and dilemmas it can present.