Numerous government reviews of social work practice have found serious deficiencies in the quality of social work practice. First-line managers have a critical role to play in developing the practice of social workers. Rather than managers focusing on process management, they should focus on leadership, as well as nurturing and developing staff practice.
The leadership development programme consisted of a Kick Off meeting; three two-day residential modules; six two-hour individual meetings with a development adviser; three on-site action learning sets and a wrap up meeting. All of these events were aimed to enable good first line managers to become high-performing and influential leaders in social work and wider society.
With continued need for leadership development programmes, in children and family social work, the Firstline programme is being expanded, with continued evaluation. A further £3.73m has been invested by the Innovation Programme to spread Firstline to over 400 social work managers across the next three years.
Mary Jackson, Leadership Development Director
Centre for Child and Family Research, Loughborough University