Partnerships and networks in work with young people
Partnerships and networks in work with young people

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

2.6.1 Difficulties in partnership working


Maria works as a youth worker for a voluntary sector environmental organisation. She has a wide range of experience of working in both formal and informal partnership arrangements and is very aware of the difficulties and potential pitfalls in working in partnership, including:

Different agendas. No clear role definition. Ineffective leadership – for example, not rotating the position of Chair, so the power balance stays with one agency.

Bureaucracy – with some agencies it wouldn’t matter who came on to the partnership board, they’re tied by so many restraints that they can’t really be effective within that partnership.

Funding. There’s a whole host of things that can go wrong.


Brona coordinates a young people’s health project. She also identifies difficulties she has come up against in her experience of developing joint projects with other agencies, including:

Different ways of working. Different values. Different funding streams. Everybody’s got their own agenda. People letting you down … Where the worker hasn’t turned up, they’ve let young people down; where they’ve broken confidentiality – all these things are crucial.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371