Dis-integration grid

29th March 2018


Provide a downloadable tool (although it is designed as a "back-of-an-envelope" tool) for exploring and planning how to go about Addressing Dis-integration in the wider network. Provide explanation of how to use this tool.

This tool supports the worker (and young person or family member) to Mentalize the different parts of the wider network of support. It is the practical tool to support the Practice of Addressing Dis-integration and thus supports two elements from the stance of the Core Features of AMBIT: Respect local practice and expertise and Taking Responsibility for integration.


You can find one of our Training exercises to practive this at Dis-integration Grid EXERCISE.

The Dis-integration grid:


You can download this as a PDF file from here

The Grid:

Additional information

Addressing Dis-integration for background on this
Dis-integratedInterventions for more explanation of the problem that this "back of an envelope" tool is designed to address.
DOMAINS and LEVELS of dis-integration explains the theory behind the Dis-integration grid

There is also a Video introduction to disintegration.

Using the grid

The dis-integration grid is the basis of a simple brief exercise which can help AMBIT workers to make sense of the network around the young person. The worker does not require a proper form and might, for instance, draw up a grid on "the back of an envelope" during a meeting.

The grid first simply invites the practitioner to map out and to Mentalize the network around the young person by naming the key people and then considering three questions about each person in the network. (The network should include parent/carer.) The three questions are:

  • 1. What is the problem? (why is it happening?) - Looking for dis-integration around the Explanations/Theories in play
  • 2. What to do? (what could help this problem?) - Looking for dis-integration around the Practices in play.
  • 3. Who does what? (who should be helping with this problem or possible solution?) - Looking for disintegrations in the wider system and understandings of the responsibilities that are held there.

Finding the Connecting Conversations

In filling in the grid, the keyworker will particularly be looking for those clinically crucial dis-connections that would warrant intervention.

We call these Connecting Conversations.

The point of systematically mentalizing the different positions in a network is to spot the crucial few "key conversations" that need to occur between different parties within a care network in order to neutralise the most harmful dis-integrative processes ("holes in the network").

For instance where a school believes the problem is occurring because of mental illness in the young person, whereas the family believe the child is behaving badly. Both parties may be quite sincere in their desire to resolve the problems

Having completed the grid, the keyworker considers:
    1. What Connecting Conversations (probably no more than two) might help the network to work better?
    2. What could I do to facilitate such conversations - so as to maximise the likelihood of improved understanding of roles and responsibilities?

Feedback from AMBIT-influenced teams (2014)

"Disintegration grid has really helped in working with partner agencies and ensuring we identify when there are differing goals in the network. Also has helped greatly in understanding viewpoint of young person and family."
"Disintegration grid has been v useful. We are developing a network protocol to help us recognise familiar situations and to have a written aide memoir of things to do and consider."