All posts by Jessica McEwen

Reflective supervision: the cornerstone of good social work practice

Sam Clayton, Principal Child and Family Social Worker for Lincolnshire County Council, has recently published a blog post for Research in Practice about reflective supervision.

Sam talks about her experience of working with Research in Practice on a Change Project, the focus of which was to gather evidence and draw together best practice in order to formulate and test a pack of resources for the sector to use to support good reflective supervision

The full article is available at  https://www.rip.org.uk/news-and-views/blog/reflective-supervision-the-cornerstone-of-good-social-work-practice/

A Day in the Life of….

Lynda Hughes

SYTP Practice Consultant

Why do you think the role of Practice Consultant is necessary as part of SYTP?

My role is a ‘bridge’ between practice and academia, being based part time at the University and part time in Children’s Services.  Some local authority social work employers have felt that some newly qualified social workers entering the service don’t always have a satisfactory level of foundation knowledge and skill and that it would be helpful for there to be closer link between the University and practitioners to bring practice knowledge and skills back into the lecture room. It was also recognised that social workers don’t always practice in an evidence informed way that they learned about at university,  so being able to push this through my link with the university and my involvement with local authority social workers and managers is also beneficial. Being able to see ‘both sides of the same coin’ as a Practice Consultant is really helpful in seeing where the gaps are and where the potential is to improve the quality of what we do.

It has taken a while to have an appreciation of how the university teaches and supports its’ social work students but university staff have been really receptive to our involvement and are looking seriously at how they can tailor parts of their curricula for newly qualified and experienced social workers.  They are also helping us to try to become more research minded in our everyday practice within children’s services. Some of the developments are small scale at the moment but I think everyone is committed to rolling out these developments more widely once we are sure they are going to be helpful.

Describe a typical day…

I’ve found the academic timetable is like the seasons – certain things happen at certain times of the year. There’s a reassuring rhythm to this as you know what you should be doing usually well in advance – very different to social work! September, when the MA Social Work course starts is really frenetic.  I was allocated 4 tutees this year, which has involved seeing them for a set number of sessions each semester. I also meet with them at the start of and mid-way through their social work practice placements. We’re just about to start midway review meetings and I’m really looking forward to hearing from them and their practice educators about what they have been learning and how they are meeting the required standards. University is a lot quieter when students are on placement but it doesn’t mean it’s any less busy. This semester I have been involved in some of the teaching on the Advanced Professional Framework (APF) Child Development course that some of the experienced social workers across the partnership have been attending. With a colleague I’ve also been working on the ASYE Accreditation Module that will enable newly qualified social workers across the partnership to gain university credits for some of the written work they have to do for the ASYE portfolio. I’m also involved in interviews for admission to next year’s MA Social Work programme. I will be supervising some students with their dissertation projects once they return from placement. In the first semester I contributed to several of the MA course modules such as Law and Contexts, Skills and Values and hope to do more of this next academic year.

Toughest problem in the post?

I wouldn’t call it a problem but the cultures and working environments of the local authority and university are quite different so that takes some getting used to. Perhaps because I’m not as embedded at the university – or because my workload in local authority children’s services is always very busy, I have to be careful not to let local authority work encroach into university time. It is something I’ve always tried to be disciplined about  – and it’s getting less painful as time goes on!

What is the most rewarding part of this post?

I have really enjoyed and benefitted from working with the teachers and lecturers at the university and getting a better understanding of their work to inform my own thoughts. I think as a team we are starting to do some useful work on a number of fronts to better marrying the practical and theoretical aspects of the social work and that can only be a good thing for students, social workers and ultimately the children and families we work with.

I enjoyed contributing to a law module  to which I brought a change in case law  which has fundamentally changed the way social workers have to write court reports. We were able to give the students an opportunity to practice this change in court reports.

I am also enjoying acting as a tutor and having the opportunity of visiting them at their placements within the partnership.

Is it going to get more interesting as it goes along?

University is very open and positive with the input myself and Danny Moonman (the adult practice consultant) have had on some individual lecture design.

I am co-delivering the first Child development and Communication module of the Advanced Practitioner Framework and we are ready to change this for the next intake depending on the feedback we get.

I will get a better understanding of teaching, the sociological department and academic year.  Once I can put this in context I will have a deeper level of understanding of where I fit in and where I can contribute.  I will be involved in more teaching and also taking on dissertation students, which will stretch me.

Masterclass: Failing and Marginal Students

Wednesday 10th May 2017, 9.30 – 12.30, Sheffield Town Hall

This Master class is aimed at current Practice Educators and those working towards being a Practice Educator, and is being delivered by Gurnam Singh, Principal Lecturer in Social Work at Coventry University and Berni Murphy, Placement Manager at the University of Sheffield.

Aims:

In relation to ‘failing ‘and ‘marginal’ students the workshop therefore aims to offer a space for practice educators and tutors to reflect on their own experiences and to share/develop best practice

Objectives:

By the end of the workshop participants will have:

  • Reflected on some of the difficulties and challenges in assessing and supporting students who are perceived to be weak or failing
  • Reflected on their role and responsibility regarding supporting and assessing failing or marginal students, particularly in relation to the PCF framework
  • Reflected on their commitments to anti-oppressive practice, specifically in relation to failing and marginal students
  • Contributed to develop and inform best practice to ensure fair and rigorous assessment of students on placement.

 

Places are free and aimed at current Practice Educators and those working towards being a Practice Educator. The seminar will be interactive and will provide opportunities to consider your own practice and learning needs. Please ask your manager for permission to attend.

To book a place, please go to https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/social-work-master-class-failing-and-marginal-students-tickets-32151324477

Social Policy & Society Annual Lecture

The first Annual Lecture of the Journal Social Policy & Society, sponsored by Cambridge University Press in association with the University of Sheffield Social Policy Research Cluster, will be held in the Diamond LT8 at the University of Sheffield on the 22nd of March from 5-6 pm. Everyone is welcome but registration is essential.

The lecture focuses on ‘troubled families’, the subject of a themed section in the January 2016 issue of Social Policy & Society, and will be delivered by Dr Steven Crossley and  Dr Michael Lambert, the themed section editors. The lecture will be followed by a wine reception in the exhibition space at the same venue from 6 – 7 pm to celebrate the first year of Social Policy & Society under the editorship of Liam Foster and Majella Kilkey at the University of Sheffield.

Information about the lecture, consisting of two presentations, can be found below:

Dr Steven Crossley – Senior Lecturer in Social Policy at Northumbria University

‘Double, double, toil and trouble’: myths, magic and statecraft in the Troubled Families Programme

Given the mysterious, almost perfect, fairy-tale like success of the ‘troubled families’ story, it is appropriate to critically examine the development of the Troubled Families Programme (TFP) by drawing on writing around alchemy, myth, magic and statecraft. This paper draws on Clarke & Newman’s work on ‘the alchemy of austerity’, Cassirer’s writing on ‘political myths’, Bourdieu’s theory of the ‘social magic’ effect of the state and Wacquant’s more recent work on ‘neoliberal statecraft’. The role of the state in the creation of ‘troubled families’ is examined before the attention turns to the performance of ‘troubled families’ via the government’s TFP. The scarcely believable, yet widely acclaimed success, of the TFP is then scrutinized, drawing on the recent publication of the evaluation of the programme. The paper concludes with a discussion of the continuing widespread belief in ‘troubled families’, even amongst practitioners and researchers.

and

Dr Michael Lambert – Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow in Early Childhood Studies at Liverpool Hope University

‘“The dragons’ harvest”? Managing “problem families” in post-war Sheffield, 1945-74.’

Louise Casey (2012, p. 1) in Listening to Troubled Families declared that the Troubled Families Programme (TFP) ‘is an opportunity to not repeat the failed attempts of the past’.  Despite being a history graduate, both her comments and the substance of the TFP represented an uncertain grasp on what ‘the failed attempts of the past’ were.  This paper reconstructs what ‘the failed attempts of the past’ actually were by exploring the management of so-called ‘problem families’ in the post-war period.  The city of Sheffield is used as a case study to explore how ‘problem families’ were defined and managed by a host of social, welfare, health and other services during the ‘golden age’ of the welfare state from 1945 to 1974.  What becomes evident is that neither Casey nor the TFP have heeded or learned from the past, and the persistent underlying ‘problem’ or ‘trouble’ of families is poverty, marginalisation and subjection.

If you are interested in attending the event please register early at https://goo.gl/forms/2N2HHnhYI17YE3A72 to avoid disappointment.

NSCAP Open Day

The Northern School of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy (NSCAP) is holding an Open Day on Saturday 25th March 2017 11.00am – 2.00pm.

An opportunity to discover how NSCAP can help develop your practice and your career working with infants, children, adolescents, families and adults.

Featuring:
• Pathways to Training
• Guest Lecture
• Sample Seminars
• Videos
• Clinical and Organizational Consultations
• Research at NSCAP

RSVP
Please email your name to:
nscap.lypft@nhs.net or call 0113 8558750

Please see Open Day Flyer for more infomation

Event for HCPC registrants

Event for HCPC registrants: The State of Regulation: Professional, ethical and personal dilemmas

Wednesday 8 March 2017
12pm – 4pm
Room EG03, School of Law, Bartolome House, University of Sheffield

This symposium will share the findings from a recent study of HCPC regulation and hear the experiences of two registrants who have been through the Fitness to Practise (FtP) Process. The session will consider the professional, ethical and personal dilemmas that emerge when registrants are subject to the current FtP model and also explore a new way of approaching conduct issues in social work practice. This event will be of particular benefit to social workers who have been referred to the HCPC for practice concerns, as well as those who are interested in contributing to the debate on the future of social work regulation.

Speakers will include two ex-registrants who had differing experiences of the HCPC Fitness to Practise process. Dr Jadwiga Leigh will share the findings from a study which was carried out with Dr Ken McLaughlin and Professor Aidan Worsley and explored the experiences of registrants who had been through the Fitness to Practise Process. Dr Richard Kirkham will be the fourth speaker. Richard, a legal ombudsman expert and Senior Lecturer in Law, will discuss a potential new way of working with referrals relating to practice issues and would like to seek feedback from the audience on this idea. The Chair for this event with be Professor Kate Morris.

This symposium is free and lunch is included however, as this is a small event there are limited spaces available (40 in total).

Register your place here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-state-of-regulation-professional-ethical-and-personal-dilemmas-tickets-30887334850?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button

Examining touch in practice: Adult-Child Relationships and the use of Touch in Social Care

With Lisa Warwick

7th February 2017

10am – 12.30pm

(registration at 9.30am)

Room 1.050 Howden House, Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2SH

Master class flyer -feb 7th 2017

This masterclass will draw upon Lisa’s doctoral research and will explore intimacy in professional adult-child relationships with a particular focus on the use of touch in practice.  Drawing upon examples from the research, we will discuss some of the myths, misunderstanding and meaningful uses of touch in practice.

Lisa Warwick is a Qualified Social Worker and Research Fellow at the University of Nottingham, currently working on the ESRC funded project: ‘Organisations, staff support and the dynamics and quality of social work practice: A qualitative longitudinal study of child protection work’.  Her PhD research was an ethnographic study of adult-child relationships and the use of touch in residential child care.

Register your place here  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/sytp-masterclass-examining-touch-in-practice-adult-child-relationships-and-the-use-of-touch-in-tickets-30322341941

Password – teaching

Places are free and aimed at experienced practitioners, with a maximum of 12 places for Sheffield staff. The seminar will be interactive and will provide opportunities to consideryour own practice and learning needs. Please ask your manager for permission to attend.

If you experience any problems in accessing the Eventbrite link please email SouthYorkshireTeachingPartnership@sheffield.gov.uk and we will register you.

SYTP Student Admissions Process

Sheffield University’s Admissions Process Working in Collaboration with South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership by Jadwiga Leigh, Admissions Tutor.

It’s been an interesting year working with the South Yorkshire TP from an admissions perspective. It began with a meeting where leads from all the authorities came to the University to talk through our current process and critically analyse its strengths and weaknesses. Some good points were raised that day which helped us reconsider what we were doing and how we could make the assessments more inclusive and interesting. Together with Fiona Addison we invited service users and carers into the University to review the interview questions that were already in place and with their help we updated them, making them more relevant to issues they were facing in today’s current climate.

In addition to revising the interview schedule we also added another activity to the interview day: the group test. Much like speed dating, this exercise involved applicants responding to questions posed by different young people and foster carers in a few minutes before moving on to the next person. Although this element is challenging, we have had positive feedback on it from both applicants and the young people and foster carers involved.

Getting through our admissions process was never easy but this year we have been able to really challenge our applicants and as a department we have been pleased with the students who have got through the interview and been accepted on to the course.

Dr Jad Leigh, Lecturer in Social Work, University of Sheffield

Job opportunity: Director of Children’s Services, Sheffiled

Sheffield is a great city and our Corporate Plan focuses on what makes Sheffield a unique, ambitious and inspiring city. Our challenge is for Sheffield’s children to achieve their potential, be healthy and resilient, and be ready for the next stage of their lives. As part of the City’s commitment to improved outcomes for the children, young people and families we are seeking to appoint an outstanding Service leader who possesses experience, ambition and enthusiasm to drive service quality forward and contribute to the strategic direction of the council.

Reporting to the Executive Director for Children’s services, the Director will lead, manage and shape excellent services which make a real difference to the lives of children, young people and families in Sheffield.

You will be a qualified registered social worker with substantial experience of managing children’s social care and multi- agency services at Director or Assistant Director / Head of Service level. You will have a deep knowledge and understanding of all safeguarding issues and legislation. You will have the desire and the ability to build strong and positive relationships with colleagues and partner agencies across the City.

You will understand and value prevention and early help as part of a whole system of services available to families.  You will know what best practice is and set high child focused standards for the whole service.  You will be resilient, informed, experience and committed to making a difference to the lives of children and families in Sheffield.

Confident, committed and credible, you are likely to be in a similar role or looking to step up to a new challenge. Either way, it’s important that you are self-motivated, proactive and innovative and have exceptional influencing, partnership, communications and project management skills. This is a politically restricted post.

This is a great opportunity to join a high energy and ambitious team with the talent and determination to deliver the councils Corporate Plan for the benefit of all the residents of Sheffield.

We are committed to fairness and social justice and welcome applications from everyone. We value our diverse workforce and aim to work together to make the most of our differences. Under the Two Ticks Scheme, disabled applicants, who meet the essential criteria of this job, are guaranteed an interview.

Application Form and more information

Please complete the Council’s application form, which along with supporting information about the job and Sheffield City Council can be viewed at www.sheffield.gov.uk/jobs.

 

Interviews will be held during the week commencing 13 February 2017

For informal enquiries about the role, please contact Jayne Ludlam, Executive Director, Children, Families and Young People tel. 0114 273 5726

For any queries about the recruitment process, please email HRConnectops@capita.co.uk.