By Kate Snowdon
At the beginning of the pandemic, as social workers navigated new ways of working, Community Care Inform published a guide to creating online reflective spaces when working from home.
Collaboration is a huge part of social work, and critical reflection with colleagues can help social workers to improve their practice while reducing the isolation of remote working.
Community Care Inform Children and Adults are subscription-based resources, but we are now making this guide available to everybody – to thank social workers and care staff for the incredible work you continue to do, and to help you look after your own wellbeing when under extra strain.
What’s in the guide?
The guide is written by registered social workers Siobhan Maclean and Bridget Caffrey (see full biographies below) and is based on the University of Chester Connections model.
Their guide includes:
- practice tips for facilitating an online session;
- learning points on what makes a good session.
In the introduction, Maclean and Caffrey explain that they were contacted by the principal social worker for Cheshire West and Cheshire Council, who hoped the pair could help connect their practitioners to boost resilience and prevent isolation.
Maclean and Caffrey emphasise that, “adapting our usual working practices is a feature of this pandemic”, noting that critical reflection could “offer a shared space for feelings, encourage development of a shared culture, language and values, build relationships and reduce isolation”.
About the authors
Siobhan Maclean is a registered social worker who works as a trainer and consultant in social care and social work, as well as an independent practice educator. She is the founder of independent social work publishing company Kirwin Maclean Associates.
Bridget Caffrey is a trained nurse and registered social worker with experience in both hospital and community settings. She worked for several years as an independent practice educator before joining the University of Chester as a senior lecturer in 2015.
Community Care is providing this resource to complement organisational support. The guide recommends encouraging participation, regardless of role, and hiring external facilitation to support the sharing of new perspectives among team members, and encourage partnership relationships.