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The impact on service collaboration of co-location of early childhood services in Tasmanian child and family Centres: An ethnographic study


Jose, K and Taylor, CL and Jones, R and Banks, S and Stafford, J and Zubrick, SR and Stubbs, M and Preen, DB and Venn, A and Hansen, E, The impact on service collaboration of co-location of early childhood services in Tasmanian child and family Centres: An ethnographic study, International Journal of Integrated Care, 21, (2) pp. 1-13. ISSN 1568-4156 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

2021 The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See

DOI: doi:10.5334/ijic.5581


Introduction: There is a global trend towards place-based initiatives (PBIs) to break the cycle of disadvantage and promote positive child development. Co-location is a common element of these initiatives and is intended to deliver more coordinated services for families of young children. This paper examines how co-locating early childhood services (ECS) from health and education in Child and Family Centres (CFCs) has impacted collaboration between services.

Methods: This ethnographic study included 130 participant observation sessions in ECS between April 2017 and December 2018 and semi-structured interviews with 45 early childhood service providers and 39 parents/carers with pre-school aged children.

Results: Service providers based in CFCs reported that co-location of services was facilitating local cooperation and collaboration between services. However, insufficient information sharing between services, prioritising client contact over collaborative practice and limited shared professional development remained barriers to collaborative practice. For parents, co-location improved access to services, but they experienced services independently of each other.

Discussion and Conclusion: Co-location of ECS in CFCs contributed to greater cooperation and collaboration between services. However, for the potential of CFCs to be fully realised there remains a need for governance that better integrates service policies, systems and processes that explicitly support collaborative practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:early childhood services, place based, ethnography, co-location, collaboration, Australia
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Community child health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health system performance (incl. effectiveness of programs)
UTAS Author:Jose, K (Dr Kim Jose)
UTAS Author:Taylor, CL (Mrs Catherine Taylor)
UTAS Author:Jones, R (Mrs Rachael Jones)
UTAS Author:Banks, S (Dr Susan Banks)
UTAS Author:Venn, A (Professor Alison Venn)
UTAS Author:Hansen, E (Dr Emily Hansen)
ID Code:144305
Year Published:2021
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2021-05-11
Last Modified:2021-06-02
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