Working in Partnership  

Your job will involve you working with many people who have a variety of roles. This is known as ‘partnership working’.

Developing good partnership relationships improves the quality of care provided.


The Main Working Relationships in a Social Care Setting


The main working relationships in social care can be categorised in five ways :

  • Individuals and their advocates – an advocate is someone who does not have any personal or professional connections/interests with the paid organisation where you work, who speaks up on behalf of the person expressing the person’s needs, wishes and choices and does not impose his/her or other people’s views or decisions upon the person.
  • Friends and family – the people who are significant to the person
  • Your colleagues and Managers – working in teams to cover for each other and provide consistent round the clock support, working together to communicate essential information, sharing ideas and pooling skills and knowledge.
  • Other professionals such as social workers, district nurses and occupational therapists etc. – working with or alongside professionals and people from other agencies enables us to provide a joined up service, maximises services and prevents a duplication of services.
  • Volunteer and community groups – individuals and groups offering a voluntary service to help support a person and allow a person to actively participate in their community.


Reasons why it is important to work in partnership with clients, and independent advocates


  • It recognises the strengths and resilience of clients and how these can be used to address their needs.
  • It recognises peoples expertise
  • It empowers clients to become actively involved rather than passive recipients of their care and support
  • Clients have rights to be consulted
  • It is person- centred
  • It gives everyone involved ownership and clarifies each persons roles and responsibilities
  • It enables clients to assert their rights
  • It is inclusive and has the potential to prevent clients from becoming marginalised or segregated
  • It prevents us from imposing our own views and ways of doing things for clients, so that we do things with people rather than for them and thus moves towards equalising the balance of power.
  • Some partnership working is a legal requirement, e.g. with regard to aspects of the Mental Capacity Act
  • It enable us to understand, respect and value each others perspectives
  • It enables us to make personalised and appropriate responses when we are meeting peoples needs.

Use to answer question 1.3c and 1.4a of the Care Certificate

Reasons why it is important to work in partnership with colleagues and other professionals


  • Prevents us from working in isolation
  • It can sometimes protect us from being vulnerable or at risk when there are personal safety issues
  • It prevents us from being inward looking and task orientated and to focus instead to see the individual as a person and be person centred
  • It recognises the range of expertise/ skills mixes and encourages a multi disciplinary way of working
  • It helps us to maximise the use of resources and to provide joined up services and coordinated responses
  • It prevents the duplication of services
  • It is particularly important when preventing and addressing abuse within formal safeguarding and protection procedures
  • It enables us to understand, respect and value other professionals’ perspectives
  • It enables organisations to develop coordinated strategies, policies and practises which dovetail with each other
  • It enables us to build up productive ways of interacting and communicating with each other and to breakdown barriers between ourselves and the organisations with which we work.

Reasons why it is important to work in partnership with informal carers and relatives


  • It values the parts they play in providing care and support and acknowledges the skills and expertise which they have developed through their experience
  • It sees what they do as work rather than just seeing paid workers as contributing to the quality of care people receive
  • It enables us to see clients and their carers in the context of their families and communities rather than in isolation
  • It enables carers’ rights to be exercised and their voice to be heard
  • It empowers them in their own rights and empowers them alongside those they support
  • It is inclusive and has the potential to prevent carers, family and others from becoming segregated from their community and social networks
  • It enables us to understand, respect and value each other’s perspectives
  • It enables us to make personalised and appropriate responses when we are meeting the needs of carers and clients.
  • It enables us to recognise strengths and resilience in peoples families, carers and the communities in which they live

Use to answer question 1.4a and 1.4b of the Care Certificate

How and when to access support and advice about Partnership Working and Resolving conflicts


If you are faced with an ethical dilemma or require advice on how to manage a conflict you should in your first instance contact your line manager. Ring the on call phone if the matter is urgent and outside of office hours.

In the event of physical conflict arising in relation to e.g. service users follow the agreed ways of working detailed in topic 3.10 ‘Information on Positive Behaviour Support’ and topic 3.13 ‘How to Assess and Reduce Risks in Confrontational Situations’. These topics will explain what you are allowed and not permitted to do in order to minimize the risk which such an event poses.

You should always try to seek and request appropriate assistance through your line manager and never feel that saying that you feel out of your depth or unclear about what you should do is a reflection of a shortcoming on your part. On the contrary, it is a reflection of a responsible worker who is reflecting on consequences of the possible outcomes of doing the work.

Use to answer question 1.4d of the Care Certificate

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