Most professionals are unaware that Havering is an East London borough, but as soon as you mention Romford, where our bustling offices are located, everyone is familiar with the area.
Our borough is experiencing rapid growth and development and to ensure we can meet the needs of children and families in our community we successfully launched our Face to Face programme in May 2016.
Face to Face aligns our practitioners to a systemic approach, which turns traditional practice somewhat on its head.
Dave Tapsell, head of systemic practice, describes our Face to Face ethos as “fitting the system to the family rather than asking the family to fit to the system”.
Our goal is that children and families experience interventions that work in collaboration with them, rather than being ‘done to’ them.
As our principal social worker Kate Dempsey says: “We are aiming to change practice and outcomes positively, one conversation at a time.”
How we support practitioners
To ensure we can facilitate external change and work as a team in a systemic and reflective environment we have developed a partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy.
We offer all our permanent social workers free accredited training in systemic family therapy. Our managers receive an opportunity to undertake a free diploma in systemic supervision.
As well as this, our senior leadership team and our fully integrated business support team are undertaking bespoke systemic training to ensure we have a consistent, systemic and reflective approach across the service.
Centre of excellence
In Havering we have our sights firmly set on becoming a centre of excellence for social work practice, which addresses learning, development and support across the entire career path of our social work and support staff.
By working with the Institute of Family Therapy on a pathway that is right for our service – one that develops and supports newly qualified ASYE social workers, student social workers, and experienced skilled social workers – we are bringing the whole service on a systemic journey as we continue to deliver purposeful intervention for children and families.
An in-house clinical team
Our newly established clinical family therapy team offers systemic interventions, case consultations, and staff support.
Already, practitioners are responding positively to having more of an opportunity to reflect on their work through case conversations.
It is a useful reminder that process is important but it is the practice we conduct in the room that enables change to happen and reduces risk.
Experience the rewards of joining our teams
We are currently seeking a team manager in our MASH & Assessment Team, the front door of children’s services. This service offers a hub of activity and your managerial skills will be an asset in supporting our head of service, Gary Jones.
Our Children & Adults with Disabilities (CAD) Service, an integral component of children’s services, is also recruiting.
We are keen to recruit social workers with an all-encompassing skill set, specifically with a focus on carrying out high quality assessments, using child-centred, community focused, and multi-agency interventions.
We aim to bring positive change through developing effective relationships and to secure the best outcomes for children and young people in Havering.
Our CAD team aims to safeguard and promote the welfare and development of disabled children and young people whilst supporting children to be cared for by their families at home.
We do this by working closely with children, parents, carers and colleagues in other agencies. Our focus is on implementing the principles of personalisation and safeguarding in line with statutory requirements from Children Act, Children and Families Act 2014 and 0-25 SEND Code of Practice.
From April 2017, our service will extend its provision in working with young people with SEND and disability up to the age of 25.