Principle 3: Social capital provides the fuel for the machinery to run

Social capital is about how people interact and the quality of relationships between individuals, groups and organisations.

Without sufficient time being invested in relationships between senior management, managers, staff and practitioners from different sectors, the necessary goodwill and motivation may not exist to sustain collaborative work.

While structures and shared systems can provide the mechanisms for collaboration to occur, social capital is what provides fuel for the machinery to run.

Things to consider:

1. Trust and respect can be developed by participants seeking to understand each agency's culture, the capacities and skill set of partner services and through acting generously and cooperatively.

2. Involving staff members in planning and decision-making processes engages them with initiatives where they feel that their contribution and practice knowledge are valued.

3. Regular communication, project team-building events, project team meetings as well as whole cross-sector team visits promote relationships between individuals and services.

4. Clinicians can find working in multi-disciplinary teams highly satisfying, as they create a more collegiate atmosphere where the burden (and opportunities) of complexity (are) shared and work related stress is reduced.

Case examples

Building social capital - Collaborative care pathways for clients with mental illness and problem gambling

Improving client pathways through communication, meetings and team-building

The Professional Development Centre has a range of training and development opportunities.

Find out more