This special edition is dedicated to issues of collaboration.


Arguments supporting interagency collaboration permeate the literature and child welfare guidelines internationally. Yet, difficulties in interagency communication and coordination have nevertheless plagued child welfare services over many years. Strong collaborative practice takes time, which is often in short supply in busy child welfare practice.

Differing professional and philosophical perspectives, beliefs about when and how services might intervene in the lives of children and their families, and agency mandates and operational priorities also critically influence the ways in which agencies work together. It is within this dynamic interagency and interdisciplinary context that relationships of trust develop between professionals, or conversely fail to develop. Where relationships are weak, the potential exists for children to fall between service delivery silos. Where relationships are strong and people are able to work toward a common vision, despite disciplinary differences or cross-agency tensions, children and families are most likely to be the benefactors of their collaborative efforts.

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