Making A Difference – Stoke on Trent’s Journey of service re-design and its evaluation


Published on

Led by Tracy Ellison, Principal Manager Systemic Practice and Amanda Owen, Strategic Manager for Safeguarding & Quality Assurance, Stoke on Trent

  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Making A Difference – Stoke on Trent’s Journey of service re-design and its evaluation

  1. 1. Making a Difference Our Journey Amanda Owen: Strategic Manager Safeguarding & Quality Assurance Tracey Ellison: Principal Child & Family Social Worker & Systemic Lead
  2. 2. The Approach: •Focus on forming effective relationships with families with staff being able to engage more therapeutically. Developing a team approach to managing children’s cases with a good skill mix. •Practice based on evidence of what works and staff confident to apply this with consistent and transparent practices. •A flexible service able to respond to children’s needs.
  3. 3. 44 social work pods created in safeguarding, children in care and children with disability team Duty function re-designed to create Advice and Referral Team (ART). Their remit to make a determination on whether contact meets level of need criteria to trigger services. Any assessment function sent directly into the pods Contact service established to supervise and support contact.
  4. 4. Practice Manager Po d As sis ta nt Co -o rd in at o r Soc ia lW r rke Wo ork e r l cia So So cia lw or k Pod
  5. 5. Pods 3 Pods per Practice Manager – CIC 4 Pods per Practice Manager – S&S Practice Manager Pod Pod Pod Pod
  6. 6. How it all works… Pods are on a seven weekly duty function, taking referrals and undertaking single assessments. Cases allocated to pods with a primary/lead work but with all other pod members are co-workers on recorded as such on the system. Pod postcards provided to family and professionals to introduced pod and concept Cases discussed at weekly pod meetings which provide the case supervision element. Case within pods should be discussed on a 4/5 weekly cycle and chaired by the practice manager
  7. 7. Evaluation •Independent evaluation undertaken by National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER). •We wanted to evaluate the approach •Identify the direction of travel •Plan future developments
  8. 8. Methodology •The evaluation is a qualitative research project •Semi-structured interview schedules used for parents, children, young people and staff •Random sample of pods evaluated across service •Sample of staff covering a range of roles
  9. 9. Key Findings:- •Stoke has made substantial progress in implementing Making a Difference which is driving a culture change in relation to the delivery of its social work services. •The full potential has not yet been fully realised and embedded, as not all staff have undertaken systemic training and size and complexity of caseloads. •Staff are committed and have got used to working in pods. They value the collaborative working model, sharing knowledge and expertise and peer support and challenge which they say has improved their practice.
  10. 10. • Staff consider that their professional development to date has given them an appropriate combination of skills and confidence to carry out their role effectively. • Staff believe that Making a Difference is making a difference to families by giving them more access to support through the pod system. They say this model as opposed to a traditional model better meets the needs of families because it is more inclusive, focusing on the whole family and its history and more interactive by seeking families views on shaping support and their future.
  11. 11. • Young people think things have got better since social workers became involved and feel safer. • The support they have received has helped them stay in school or college • Parents responses are mixed – questioning if staff understood the family situation and needs, their involvement in decisions. Would like a more flexible and sensitive service, whilst others feel that get a fair deal, meets their needs
  12. 12. Our learning •Was the approach introduced too quickly •Families can be confused about pod working •Some families prefer one worker •Number of cases limit more therapeutic work •A continued commitment to systemic practice, ensuring all staff have skills and knowledge base required.
  13. 13. • • • • • Morning Lane National Redesign Network Chief Social Worker Recent research – Tilda Goldberg Institute Munro demonstrator developer sites Serious Case Review –Isle of Wight
  14. 14. Making a Difference – What is the difference? •Pods exploring family relationships and dynamics together. Feel they have a better understanding of families. •Pods using genograms to track family patterns across. •Staff feel more confidence in their practice. •Collective approach used to work with agencies and family
  15. 15. The Future… •Re-written our career progression policy to include attainment of the certificate in systemic practice •Job Descriptions re-defined to embrace Making a difference •We are committed to the benefits of this approach to take us forward •Further evaluation
  16. 16. “Making a Difference is making a culture change within the organisation. It is maturing as more staff continue to apply systemic approach to their social work practice.”
  17. 17. Questions