Multi-agency collaboration, multiple levels of meaning: social constructionism and the CMM model as tools to further our understanding

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This study explores the discourse emerging when professionals from a child and adolescent mental health service meet with professionals from other agencies to discuss cases. The study is timely, given the current political contextual forces pushing agencies to work together which run alongside an expanding literature acknowledging the obstacles to achieving this.

A thematic analysis identified nine themes, defined according to their discourse type, including single agency discourse, case complexity discourse and multi-agency discourse. In this paper, the usefulness of the coordinated management of meaning model (CMM) is examined as an additional tool which may be used in data analysis to help understand the discourse within multi-agency meetings. The two approaches to data analysis are complementary to each other, with both allowing for different layers of context and complexity to emerge from the data.

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