Leaders in interprofessional education efforts examine the potential and the challenges of developing effective partnerships between universities and communities focusing on improving the lives of families and children. Until recently, higher education has had little to do with the multiple service reform efforts underway across the country in response to widely perceived crisis in services for families and children. By maintaining professional preparation programs that emphasize separation between disciplines and increasing specialization, universities have typically reinforced service fragmentation. This book suggests steps that universities can take toward solutions by changing current approaches to professional education in multiple disciplines, supplementing professional education with interprofessional training, and developing effective partnerships with communities to improve outcomes for families and children.
Directed toward those academics in professional preparation programs and allied professionals, this book describes changes underway in professional practice with families and children, including service integration, multidisciplinary service provision, and other collaborative efforts, and suggests steps that universities can take to partner with community members and community-based professionals. A broad range of disciplines and perspectives are represented including social work, education, public administration, geography, urban planning, nursing, psychology and medicine, and other allied fields. The chapters are organized in four parts: the needs and challenges for interprofessional education, changing theories and infrastructures of community practice, linking the university to the community, and challenges for universities for the next century.