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

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2.6.4 Differences in culture

Different professional groups also have different ways of working – including ways in which they perceive and relate to young people. Some professionals, for example, still see young people as ‘clients’, with the professionals holding the power (Sullivan and Skelcher, 2002), while others are committed to sharing power with young people and encouraging involvement in decision making. Some professionals may also hold stereotypical views about other professions, which can act as a barrier to communication.

All practitioners are brought up or accultured in one agency. The practitioner in a particular agency speaks that particular practice language, understands the roles and structures within that practice system and automatically and unconsciously sees the world from that single agency perspective. … What keeps us separate, both systematically and professionally, is very powerful and does not diminish over time.

(Murphy, quoted in Harrison et al., 2003, p. 79)