Havering children’s services – systemic social care practice delivered face-to-face

A feature sponsored by London Borough of Havering

woman speaking in a meeting

Here in Havering we know that to improve the outcomes for children, we need to ensure that our social work teams have the most advanced tools and training available. But, even with these high tech offerings and an in-house clinical team, improvements will not be realised unless children and families are able to build relationships with social workers and receive their support face-to-face.

Director of children’s services, Tim Aldridge, reinforces how Havering’s message is different and demonstrating true innovation:

“Our social workers can get back to the basics of practice, with a focus on intervention and developing relationships with families.This programme is all about achieving cultural change and creating an environment in which good social work can flourish.Through supporting practitioners, supervisors and managers to develop a systemic approach to practice and the supervision of practice, the objective is to promote more purposeful, reflective and effective practice.”

For first hand insight into Tim’s aim, watch this video.

Havering is truly transparent and proud to promote its Face-to-Face programme; this is a bold initiative which was launched in May 2016.

The key components of this programme are:

  • Free systemic family therapy training – we offer a 15 day accredited course for practitioners and supervisors, with additional enhanced training for deputy team managers and team mangers.This is delivered in partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy.
    We have an in-house clinical team led by head of systemic practice Dave Tapsell and a team of systemic practitioners.This team offers complex case consultation, direct interventions in partnership with social work professionals while supporting practitioners to reflect on their practice and strengthen the use of systemic approaches.
  • New ways of working – including improvements to our online recording system, introduction of Outcomes Star, MoMo system, mobile working and fully integrated business support within all social work teams.
  • Champions programme – We invite anybody within children’s services to become a face-to-face champion, as without our staff being proud we knew that success would not follow. We have over 50 champions forming four groups, comprising team managers, deputy managers, social workers, project managers and business support who meet every six weeks. We are addressing key opportunities and constraints to ensure that all teams are bilaterally communicating and are always listening to the voice of the child.

How our Face to face programme works with families

How Havering works with children and families.

How our staff are the driving force of change

The systemic family therapy programme has been designed to support newly qualified ASYEs, frontline staff new to the profession, as well as the already experienced and skilled workers.

Havering has, in partnership with the Institute of Family Therapy, developed accredited systemic family therapy training for all staff working directly with service users. This partnership also offers training in systemic supervision to senior staff and a programme of systemic leadership for the senior management team. For those staff not undertaking one of these training programmes the borough has developed bespoke systemic workshops for the whole of its children’s services staff. More than 150 staff have signed up for these. This highlights both a need and a desire from our team to be as good as they can be in whatever role they have in the service.

Our aim is to become a centre for social work learning and excellence where Havering is recognised as the “go-to teaching borough in east London”.

To see the list of posts as well as job descriptions, visit socialworkhavering.com or email us directly at socialrecruit@havering.gov.uk. We are very keen to hear from advanced practitioners and deputy team managers.

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