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How do Child Development Teams work? Findings from a UK national survey

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Helen McConachie


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The area of child disability is the 'Cinderella' of community child health services. It lacks a clear commissioning model, agreed quality standards or guidance on the level of resources required. In this climate of uncertainty, a national survey of Child Development Teams was undertaken in order to describe their basic structure and processes. The paper reports information from 242 multidisciplinary teams providing local services, with statutory funding, to children with neurodevelopmental disability and their families. The picture presented is encouraging in part. For example, 79% of teams operate from a Child Development Centre, which may be expected to enhance team communication. In terms of the initial assessment process for a developmentally delayed child, most teams (91%) report that they would hold a case discussion afterwards, although only 74% would always include parents, and only 70% always give their report(s) to parents. The impression of management practices is weak, with only 62% giving a clear answer about who manages the team, and less than half having a written policy or contract for the team's work. The survey findings provide a sampling framework from which further evaluative research can be generated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): McConachie HR, Salt A, Chadury Y, McLachlan A, Logan S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Child: Care, Health and Development

Year: 1999

Volume: 25

Issue: 2

Pages: 157-168

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0305-1862

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2214

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2214.1999.25220121.x

PubMed id: 10188069


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