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Partners in Practice

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In ‘Focus on Practice’, Westminster City Council (WCC), Kensington & Chelsea Council (K&C) and Hammersmith & Fulham Council (H&F) are continuing to embed systemic practice to further the knowledge, confidence and expertise of their practitioners, managers and leaders.  The model is an accredited systemic practice teaching course that provides practitioners with the practical  tools they need to be more effective in engaging with children and families, creating changes and mobilising the strengths within families. To support improvement in the wider sector, they have established the Centre for Systemic Social Work which teaches systemic practice in a social work / social care context at all levels of local authority work.

Understanding what works

The ‘Focus on Practice’ programme, which was initially funded by the Innovation Programme, involves enhancing and expanding the clinical input that teams have access to and changing the way practitioners work with families. Exploring systemic ideas to progress new cases quickly and shift stuck cases, WCC, K&C and H&F are committed to developing systemic practice and ideas across all of the teams. They are also committed to using embedding workshops to deepen the understanding of systemic practice and broaden its use as services are developed. With the emphasis on relational work, consistency of worker wherever possible, simplifying processes to maximise time with families and investing in developing practice, WCC, K&C and H&F recognise and engage with the complex nature of direct work with families. They are also working on improving early help services by better understanding demand and working to identify children and families who will need intensive services as early as possible.

Sector improvement

WCC, K&C and H&F have established the Centre for Systemic Social Work (CfSSW) which aims to develop practice internally and provide opportunities for learning and improvement to the sector. The CfSSW delivers:

  • Systemic Practice, Supervision and Leadership courses for whole organisational change – the CfSSW designs, teaches and coordinates the courses specifically for staff working in local authority social work settings, and works with local authorities to embed systemic practice changes through diagnostic visits, embedding workshops and visits to WCC, K&C and H&F teams.
  • The Practice Leaders Development Programme (PDLP) for future practice leaders of the sector – this programme uniquely concentrates on preparing participants for a practice leader role within children’s social care, through a network of development coaches and colleagues within children’s social care.

Other Partners in Practice