Case studies of inter-disciplinary team practices for children with high and complex needs in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Education
The use of multidisciplinary team approach has become one of the preferred service deliveries to help children and young people with high and complex needs. However, there has been little empirical research in this area, particularly within the New Zealand context. Further, a common problem in the existing studies is the use of subjective rating scales or self reports to collect data. Therefore the aim of this study is to describe the team processes of three intersectoral teams in the New Zealand High and Complex Needs Unit using objective data collection method, as well as exploring particular issues associated with the three teams. Valid instruments were developed in order to record the meeting behaviour as frequency tally and the participants were interviewed to seek their views on the issues associated with their team. The results suggested that the teams engaged in positive team behaviour 82% to 93% of the meeting duration and negative meeting behaviour were observed during 2% to 5% of the meeting times. Further, the teams spent just under half of the meeting time in proposing and discussing goals and strategies. The teams were able to reach decisions and distributed responsibilities in less than 6 minutes. More than half of the participants had positive attitudes towards collaborative work and considered the team meetings as an effective mechanism for problem-solving and plan evaluation. The facilitators and the barriers identified in this study are consistent with the literature. Implications for future practice and research are discussed.