Abstract: Partnerships in public service delivery have received attention from researchers and policy-makers since the late 1990s. However, there has been less research on one critical mechanism to aide partnership processes: multi-agency protocols. The study investigated the role of protocols in the creation of multi-agency partnerships in transition support services for young people with intellectual disabilities. We found that protocols can clarify roles for multi-agency partnerships and may assist in clearly allocating tasks and responsibilities to individual agencies. They can be useful for services insofar as they identify clear procedures and practices for each organisation. Early involvement in protocol formulation may, for example, lead to better working knowledge of protocol contents amongst staff. However, in our case, respondents were disappointed that formulating and implementing partnership protocols failed to overcome entrenched professional divisions, or to address the exclusion of some important stakeholders.
Kaehne, A. (2015). Multi-Agency Protocols as a Mechanism to Improve Partnerships in Public Services. Local Government Studies, 41(3), 321–338. https://doi.org/10.1080/03003930.2013.861819