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A Pan London Learning Event

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Presentation on theme: "A Pan London Learning Event"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Pan London Learning Event

2 Introducing the model – Jacquie Burke – Wandsworth
What is the model The model in the UK The model as a whole service intervention International context

3 Signs of Safety - what is the model?
The Signs of Safety approach to child protection casework was developed by Andrew Turnell and Steve Edwards in Western Australia in 1990s The approach now being utilised across Western Australian and in jurisdictions in the U.S.A., Canada, U.K., Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Japan.

4 Signs of Safety – what is the model?
One of the greatest problems to bedevil child protection practice is that assessment and planning processes privilege the professional voice and erase the perspectives of children, parents and other family members.

5 Signs of safety – what is the model?
Focus on the assessment and not the tool How you do the work WITH and not TO children and their families Rigour and Grace - Clear idea of why you are doing what you are doing with families and a sense of connectedness to those families If what you are doing is not working try something different Your questions are you power tools – use them thoughtfully and purposefully

6 Core principles Constructive working relationships between professionals and family members Adopting a position of curiosity – as soon as a professional decides they know the truth they begin to ignore other new evidence Putting the thinking back with practitioners Children and families are the arbiters of whether what we do is working

7 Key disciplines All statements must be made in simple everyday language Statements must focus on specific observable behaviours and avoid value laden language Skilful use of authority Assessment as a work in progress rather than a set piece

8 Signs of Safety in the UK
Child protection conferences barely changed since late 1980s. Not the registration that protects the child. THANK YOU WEST BERKSHIRE. Engaging parents as part of the solution. CP process test of ‘willingness to co-operate’. Parents freeze at decision to make a CP plan. Professionals head for the door!

9 Child Protection Conferences
Layout Refreshments Chair facilitates and challenges Family speaks first and gets opportunity to respond Jargon free Clear and transparent mapping of concerns and strengths Risk statement Plan – focus on bringing about change Decision last

10 The conference room

11 What information is collected
What are we worried about? Harm/danger Complicating factors Grey areas What is going well? Strengths Safety What will we do next? The plan

12 Whole Service Approach
6 authorities in the SE working with Resolutions Consultancy Whole service approach – training from DCS to social workers Safety planning, 3 houses, words and pictures Multi-agency training Appreciative Enquiry Consistent language across the partnership that is jargon free and represents a holistic view of family functioning and child safety.

13 Whole Service Approach
Needs senior management buy-in Values critical thinking and challenge Lets go of the easy answer to wicked problems Encourages not the assertion of a definitive truth but asking penetrating rigorous questions focused on the five domains. The senior management solution of making fast judgements, giving strong direction and what needs to happen can undermine and stunt worker development.

14 Western Australia Year 1
1/3 on board, 1/3 on the fence 1/3 sitting it out Language, concepts penetrating, lots of enthusiasm and drive visible But, a lot of old wine in new bottles

15 Western Australia Year 2 2/3 on board
Staff survey – 64% with greater job satisfaction families’ better understanding of issues and expectations Framework providing clarity and focus for child protection work Better partnership working Better decision making

16 Western Australia Year 3
Growth in children in care reduced from 13% to 5% Assessments leading to intensive family support increasing from 2.5% to 13% Assessments leading to protection and care applications reduced (reduced 24%) Recidivism no change at 6.9% Endless challenge to build practice depth and skill

17 Model fidelity? The Signs of Safety approach should not be regarded as a fixed product (like say a box of cornflakes) rather it continues to evolve.

18 Implementing the approach- The Barnet Experience
Liz Shaw

19 Why did we want to do it? Learning from the Brent experience-message it is do-able, didn’t rely on model fidelity, can bespoke Engagement from our group of chairs A person centred no brainer - better parent participation Chance to modernise CPCs - improve analysis and avoid narrative in info share and planning Potential efficiency savings – admin time and almost free to do Minutes template refreshing, LCPP compliant

20 How did we do it? Project plan to Barnet SCB- they held authority for model, logo on templates etc Preparation briefings for all agencies Pilot approved sample CPCs- started end 2011 Evaluation event Feb 2012 Pilot rolled out to all CPCs April 2012 Second evaluation event June 2012 SCB approved model ongoing basis Sept 2012

21 Involving Partners Broad consensus to do it
Leads for agencies cascaded info and fed into planning group Chairs prepared pilot practitioners Evaluation sought from attendees and leads Discussions on multi agency forms and templates eg police/GPs use alternative/CS use core asst

22 Preparing Parents Current leaflet didn’t conflict with model but insert added in simple language Chairs called all parents for initial pilot Feedback form from parents after all CPCs Props for parents eg to enable them to take notes

23 Involving the Child Have funding for advocacy for CPCs but still in tendering process Created a specific column on white board for the child’s wishes and feelings to keep the child “in the room” Model has not increased participation of children as yet

24 Practical considerations
Don’t use electronic white board. Have trad. white boards to view all info “at a glance” Minute takers attend and can type direct into minutes template Minutes format being loaded onto ICS to eliminate separate word version

25 Evaluation - themes Practicalities – physical use of space
Involvement of child/parent Info sharing under 6 dimensions Risk analysis – scaling The Plan Thresholding/decision making Recording/minutes

26 Evaluation cont Feedback from partners positive
Parents prefer it to the old model Chairs like it but meetings are more physically demanding and intense Amendments to tools eg scaling exercise, order of phases of the CPC Are there any differences in style of CP plans eg SMARTer? Has it cut our numbers of plans?

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