Getting It Right for Every Child: Managing the change - Jane Aldgate


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Professor Jane Aldgate, The Open University,

Session 5 - Changing Children's Services.

Getting It Right for Every Child: Childhood, Citizenship and Children's Services, Glasgow, 24-26 September 2008.

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Getting It Right for Every Child: Managing the change - Jane Aldgate

  1. 1. Getting it right for every child: managing the change – ideas from theory and experience Jane Aldgate Professor of Social Care The Open University
  2. 2. Why change? <ul><li>Children have a right to reach their potential </li></ul><ul><li>Children do best when they meet their well-being indicators throughout childhood </li></ul><ul><li>Children are our future </li></ul>
  3. 3. Change takes time <ul><li>Transformational change does not come easily but requires a raising of awareness, a redesign of how practitioners go about their business, multi-agency training that is based on common language and processes, and the fostering of trust and understanding across services and with children and families </li></ul><ul><li>Adam Ingram, Minister for Children and Early Years </li></ul>
  4. 4. What will help agencies work together? <ul><li>A common purpose – to promote children’s well-being and achieve the best outcomes for a child </li></ul><ul><li>Shared principles and values of Getting it right for every child </li></ul><ul><li>A common language and theory– the components of the Getting it right for every child practice model </li></ul><ul><li>Mutual benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in culture, systems and practice </li></ul>
  5. 5. How will changes be achieved? <ul><li>Lifting constraints on workers’ professional creativity and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability linked to managers’ trust in professionals’ autonomy and judgement </li></ul><ul><li>Career structures that support professional leadership/mentorship skills </li></ul><ul><li>Managers who respect and work alongside practitioners. promoting life long learning </li></ul><ul><li>Changing governance from a culture of blame to one of learning and improving performance </li></ul><ul><li>Valuing input from academics and service users as part of the learning agenda </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted from Changing Lives, the 21 st century review of social work, Scottish Executive 2006 </li></ul>
  6. 6. Two key agents of change <ul><li>Transformational leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Changing through learning </li></ul><ul><li>Main sources </li></ul><ul><li>A Guide to Getting it right for every child , Edinburgh, Scottish Government (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Aldgate, J., Healy, L., Malcolm, B., Pine, B., Rose, W. and Seden, J (eds) Enhancing Social Work Management – Theory and Best Practice from the UK and the USA, London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, (2007). </li></ul><ul><li>Changing Lives, the 21 st century review of social work in Scotland , Edinburgh, Scottish Executive ,(2006). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Transformational Leaders in Children’s Services: <ul><li>Recognize that they are operating in permanent ‘whitewater’. Change is constant </li></ul><ul><li>Know that most children’s services jobs are high stress with high potential for burnout </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that a positive workplace starts with a management philosophy that values individuals and views staff as competent and responsible </li></ul>
  8. 8. Transformational Leaders: <ul><li>Develop participatory structures </li></ul><ul><li>Believe that participation is an ethical imperative </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize that their most valuable resource is the individuals who work in the organization </li></ul><ul><li>Know that feelings of achievement and satisfaction are essential to high morale </li></ul><ul><li>Strive to attain a learning organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Act out the values and principles of Getting it right for every child </li></ul>
  9. 9. Qualities of effective leadership <ul><li>Dedication </li></ul><ul><li>Values </li></ul><ul><li>Integrity </li></ul><ul><li>Charisma </li></ul><ul><li>Bravery </li></ul><ul><li>Motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility </li></ul>
  10. 10. Leaders and managers - effective style <ul><li>Leaders aren’t all at the top. People at all levels should be given opportunities to lead. Leadership is about doing the right thing. A good leaders sticks to their values and isn’t knocked off course. </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders need not necessarily be managers but all managers should be good leaders </li></ul><ul><li>From Changing Lives, the 21 st century review of social work in Scotland, Scottish Executive, 2006 </li></ul>
  11. 11. Learning to change <ul><li>Service improvements will not take place unless those who work together in the human services are willing to learn together </li></ul><ul><li>From Aldgate , Healy, Malcolm, Pine, Rose and Seden (eds).2007 </li></ul><ul><li>Enhancing Social Work Management: Theory and Best Practice from the UK and the USA, London, JKP </li></ul>
  12. 12. Appreciative Enquiry <ul><li>A strengths based approach out of action research </li></ul><ul><li>Both a theory of change and a methodology for fostering innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Begins with assumption some things are working well </li></ul><ul><li>Invites stakeholders to share what is going well </li></ul><ul><li>Asks questions that strengthen a system’s capacity to discover and develop its potential </li></ul><ul><li>Invites participants to think differently about the organisation </li></ul><ul><li>Creates enthusiasm and commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Change is inevitable </li></ul>
  13. 13. Translating the theory into practice <ul><li>Using Appreciative Enquiry in the Highland Pathfinder </li></ul><ul><li>What is going well in implementation of change? </li></ul><ul><li>What would you like to see more of? </li></ul><ul><li>What needs to change further? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Changes in leadership and systems <ul><li>Chief officers owning and supporting change </li></ul><ul><li>New focused job descriptions to help people feel safe championed by chief officers </li></ul><ul><li>Interagency project team recognised as leaders on behalf of their agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Reference groups single and multi agency </li></ul><ul><li>All agencies, including vol sector included </li></ul>
  15. 15. Changes in practice and culture <ul><li>A common practice model and practice tools </li></ul><ul><li>Moving from child protection to protecting children </li></ul><ul><li>Children and families are included and valued as stakeholders </li></ul><ul><li>Single child’s plan meeting focuses everyone </li></ul><ul><li>Permission to share information early on </li></ul><ul><li>More positive individual responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>Valuing professional skills and judgements </li></ul><ul><li>Improved communications within and outwith Highland as common language spreads </li></ul>
  16. 17. Including children and families <ul><li>‘We feel more equal’ </li></ul><ul><li>Young people chairing their own meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Single meeting at times to suit families means more involvement </li></ul>
  17. 18. Valuing people rather than procedures - 5 questions for all practitioners <ul><li>What is getting in the way of his child or young person’s well-being? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person? </li></ul><ul><li>What can I do now to help this child or young person? </li></ul><ul><li>What can my agency do to help this child or young person? </li></ul><ul><li>What additional help, if any , may be needed from others? </li></ul>
  18. 19. Working together and learning together <ul><li>Multi-agency training essential to recognise skills of different agencies </li></ul><ul><li>Single agency training to discuss the detail </li></ul><ul><li>Understand everyone has a positive contribution that is valuable </li></ul><ul><li>Learn how to collaborate and share knowledge </li></ul>
  19. 20. A Positive Culture and New Directions <ul><ul><li>If I could ask one thing in any situation …it would not be ‘What’s wrong and what will fix it?’ but ‘What’s possible here and who cares?’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Weisbord 1987, quoted in Aldgate et al. Enhancing Social Work Management – Theory and Best Practice from the UK and the USA London, JKP, (2007) </li></ul></ul>