Failure in welfare partnerships – a gender hypothesis: reflections on a serendipity pattern in Local Safeguarding Children Boards

Dudau, A. I. and McAllister, L. (2019) Failure in welfare partnerships – a gender hypothesis: reflections on a serendipity pattern in Local Safeguarding Children Boards. Public Policy and Administration, 34(1), pp. 84-103. (doi:10.1177/0952076717751037)

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Abstract

This article examines the roles that occupational segregation and gender bias in the welfare professions play in persistent failures in inter-agency and inter-professional collaborations. Drawing on case study evidence from a Local Safeguarding Children Board in England, a ‘serendipity pattern’ of gender dominance is identified within professions affecting inter-professional collaborations such as those prevalent in Local Safeguarding Children Boards. As we assign this pattern ‘strategic interpretation’, we suggest that policy measures taken to augment the effectiveness of welfare partnerships have, so far, paid insufficient attention to the critical variable of gender, due to over-emphasis on the organisations, rather than the professions, involved. The article’s contribution to practice is unravelling the potential of this oversight to contribute to failure to establish a collaborative mind-set. Our contribution to theory is highlighting specific cultural barriers to inter-professional collaborations, unravelling the power differentials rooted in gender inequity in public sector workforces and challenging professional and organizational traditionalism. In doing so, we offer empirical evidence of the ‘gender hypothesis’ in welfare partnerships and indicate how future investigations might be pursued in this area.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Dudau, Dr Adina
Authors: Dudau, A. I., and McAllister, L.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Journal Name:Public Policy and Administration
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN:0952-0767
ISSN (Online):1749-4192
Published Online:23 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Public Policy and Administration 34(1): 84-103
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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