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Community of Practice: Adult Services

Collaboration or conflict? The benefits and challenges of integrated and multi-disciplinary working


Social workers do not carry out their role in isolation. Indeed, there is a great deal of collaboration and joint working with other professionals in responding to the needs of service users. Since the integration of health and social care was formally introduced in Scotland, social workers in adult services have worked particularly closely with health colleagues.

In this Community of Practice, we will discuss the benefits of integrated and multi-disciplinary working, and explore ways to address some of the challenges that can arise.

 Preparatory Tasks

Read the following report and book chapter:

Reading 1

Reading 2


*For the report (Reading 1), focus on Part 2: Making integration a success.

*For the chapter (Reading 2), reflect on whether the themes are still relevant in 2020, 17 years after this was written, or have there been developments?


Think about your own practice:

To what extent does your role involve integrated work with health services?

What other professionals do you work closely with in addition to health colleagues?

Thinks of some examples of effective joint working with other professionals (health or otherwise) that you have experienced.

Think about some examples of joint working which presented a challenge or obstacle to effective practice.


Session breakdown


2.30pm to 2.45pm:


  1. Introductions
  2. How are we?
  3. Outline of the purpose of today’s Community of Practice


2.45pm to 3.50pm:

  1. What professionals from other disciplines do you work with?
  2. What themes came up from the readings and how do they relate to practice?
  3. Sharing examples of good practice in integrated and multi-disciplinary work.
  4. Sharing some challenges that have arisen.
  5. How can we meet these challenges?


3.50pm to 4pm:

Group Feedback

  1. Summary and learning points from the session.  
  2. Selection of topic for next session on 9th December 2020. 


This session is for SASW members only. This is a virtual session via Microsoft Teams.