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Partners in Practice


Hackney are delivering a programme of work focused on enhancing their systemic social work practice, including the development and delivery of systemic leadership training and support to all levels of management in Hackney. They intend to further strengthen their systemic practice internally by re-looking at those parts of the system where there are currently constraints in place to practicing in a systemic way, in particular meeting formats and decision-making processes. They will use their experience to share systemic practice more widely across the sector using methods that proved successful in their own system change journey.

Understanding what works

Hackney are extending their systemic social work training which is accredited through the Association of Family Therapy, to formulate and deliver development programmes for all levels of management in Hackney. Up until now, Hackney have focused their systemic training on practitioners, but have identified a need to support managers to continue to develop their systemic approaches to supporting practitioners and to apply systemic principles to organisational leadership.

The work Hackney is delivering includes defining the systemic approaches that are most relevant for frontline managers, middle managers, practitioners and leaders within the statutory local authority context, supporting leaders to manage the tensions inherent in using and promoting reflexive practice and holding uncertainty in a task-orientated high risk environment.

Hackney is delivering a systemic management and leadership programme that is specific to the needs of and challenges of working within a statutory social work organisation, which will then be shared with the sector.

Additionally, Hackney will review and re-format a broader range of meeting processes applying systemic principles and practices across a range of statutory processes applicable to all ages and stages of family life, with a view to making them more reflective, collaborative and productive.


Sector improvement

Hackney is offering bespoke peer support to up to six local authorities over two years, working alongside them to support organisational implementation of systemic practice and systemic review of whole organisations. They offer up to 120 days of support per authority.

Hackney are taking learning from their own work embedding systemic practice and use this experience to facilitate change through co-production in the authorities that they work with. Hackney will work with authorities that have already started to develop systemic practice or where there is a commitment to developing systemic practice. They will develop and utilise systemic quality assurance and diagnostic tools and process to support local authorities that are on an improvement journey to align all aspects of their organisation to support stronger social work practice.


Other Partners in Practice