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.