Transdisciplinary models of practice have arisen from an increasing number of complex problems encountered by children and families. Currently we have a service system that is struggling to meet the diverse needs of children and families. We can find some good examples of high-quality, innovative service delivery in Australia, however, early years services are still very fragmented. Often our universal services have a difficult time reaching the children and families that may most benefit from their services. Negotiating the system is time-consuming and frustrating for may families and even more so for those in crisis.
Transdisciplinary practice aims to provide services that are more coordinated and integrated in order to reduce confusion, duplication and fragmentation, and to increase communication and accessibility for families. In transdiscipinary practice professionals from across disciplines come together to share knowledge, alternative ideas and new possibilities. Transdisciplinarity focuses on inquiry rather than disciplines (Nolan, Cartmel and Macfarlane, 2012) creating a space for the emergence of new data and possibilities. It requires the professional to have critical thinking skills and a willingness to work collaboratively. Transdisciplinarity focuses on the client rather than on the 'truths' or 'taken-for-granted' practice within each discipline. It has been recognised that the transdisicplinary approach is 'good' practice for early intervention and prevention services.
When practitioners come together from across disciplines communication can be difficult as the diversity of knowledge and practice can be quite diverse. This mis-communication often acts as a barrier to supporting clients rather than an opportunity to 'think otherwise' about what's possible. One of the critical skills you will need to learn is how to listen to what is happening for your client/s, the ability to confront your own beliefs and 'taken-for-granted' practices, consider the multiple perspectives and reconstruct possibilities. This model of of practice includes all of the perspectives, including those of the child and their family.