This is our second episode looking at approaches to practice around children’s networks. We discuss the Lifelong Links model with: Pam Ledward, principal social work advisor at Family Rights Group (the charity that developed the model); Eathan, a young person who has built relationships with his uncle, cousins, sister and other family members after spending five of his six years in care without any family connections; Becky, a social worker and Lifelong Links coordinator at Birmingham Children’s Trust who carried out the work with Eathan to start meeting his family; and Emma, team manager for the family group conferencing service at Birmingham Children’s Trust. The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform.
Community Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/childrens-networks-part-2-lifelong-links-podcast-episode/
For more information about Lifelong Links or to contact Family Rights Group, see https://frg.org.uk/lifelong-links/
If you want to ask Eathan anything, you can contact him at [email protected]. Also he explains on the episode, he does public speaking and mentoring. As Becky says, he 'is truly inspirational and is really passionate about his story and how what he has been through in his life may help other care experienced young people.'
In this episode:
2:14 – What is Lifelong Links?
4.11 – A social worker's experience of carrying out Lifelong Links work with a young person
12.10 – Eathan’s experience of finding his family
14.26 – Implementing the approach in a children’s service17.50 – The co-ordinator role
25.58 – The experience of other local authorities
29.49 – Dealing with challenges that come up when doing this work
41.26 – Evidence and evaluations
43.33 – What can social workers elsewhere take from this, even if their service isn’t implementing the model?
You can also listen to episode 1 about children’s networks where we spoke to Family Finding, Family Seeing: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/49103861
And our 2020 episode on siblings, placement and contact: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23506960
Lifelong Links: Embedding practice. Briefing paper by Rees Centre, University of Oxford, April 2022 (the longitudinal evaluation that Pam refers to): https://frg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Lifelong-Links-Embedding-Practice.pdf
Lifelong Links, Evaluation report. Department for Education, November 2020 (review of the 2017-2020 pilot): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955953/Lifelong_Links_evaluation_report.pdf
More episodes from "Learn on the go: the Community Care podcast"
Social work and FGM: anti-oppressive practice in action
34:39In this episode, we discuss the social work role in working with girls and women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) and safeguarding children at risk. Our two guests bring their perspectives from both practice and research to try and help increase practitioners’ knowledge and confidence.You’ll hear about ways to keep anti-oppressive and anti-racist practice, personal reflection and supervision central to your work – both to avoid stigmatising and causing further harm to affectees, and to build trust and relationships with individuals and communities to reduce risk.The guests are: Maureen Mguni, a senior lecturer and researcher in social work at the University of West London (UWL) who has worked with women and girls affected by gender-based violence for most of her practice and research career, currently researching the experiences of people affected by FGM and their engagement with social workers in the UK; and Zelia Camelo. During one of her placements while studying social work at UWL, Zelia worked with a young person who had experienced FGM and she discusses what she did and what she learned.The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform Children.Areas covered:02.03: Addressing common misconceptions and myths about FGM06.31: Use of language with affectees and children at risk and their families – examples of anti-oppressive questions to ask instead12.50: Zelia’s experience working with a 16-year-old Somalian female during her placement, and the direct work she carried out. The girl had undergone FGM at a young age. The law and interactions with health services are also discussed24:37: Why social workers need to reflect on FGM as a political issue – the role of racism, understanding the mandatory reporting duty, working with male expectations in communities as well as with women31:15: Concluding messages for practiceLinksCommunity Care Inform practice guide: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/guides/guide-to-female-genital-mutilation-for-social-work-professionals/Maureen’s PhD research that she discusses in the episode is not yet published. You can find her published works and a fuller biography here: https://www.uwl.ac.uk/staff/maureen-mguniMaureen’s 2022 webinar as part of Siobhan MacLean’s Student Connect series is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hIzOlmLG8A4&t=3286sBritish Association of Social Workers (BASW) FGM direct work toolkit: https://www.basw.co.uk/resources/fgm-direct-work-toolkit (BASW membership required to access)United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child: https://www.unicef.org/child-rights-convention/convention-textUnited Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: https://www.un.org/en/about-us/universal-declaration-of-human-rights
Care Quality Commission assessments
15:18Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss the latest research, practice models and policy guidance and what they mean to your practice.This episode looks at the Care Quality Commission's new duty, under the Health and Care Act 2022, to assess how local authorities are meeting their Care Act duties. The assessment framework has nine quality statements mapped across four overall themes: working with people; providing support; how the local authority ensures safety within the system; and leadership.Discussing this CQC role in more depth are Mary Cridge, director of adult social care at the CQC, and Amanda Stride, the CQC’s deputy director for delivery of local authority assessments.The questions were asked by Natalie Valios, senior content editor for Community Care Inform Adults.0:01:19.6 - the testing process.0:02:55.7 - when will the assessments start?0:03:36.0 - what will happen once the two-year period has finished? Will there be a rolling programme with a certain number of authorities assessed every year or will you only assess those which receive a ‘requires improvement’ or ‘inadequate’ rating?0:04:26.3 - how much advance notice will a local authority be given that they’re going to be assessed?0:05:12.9 - it’s easier to envisage what leaders will need to do to prepare for an assessment, but will there be anything that frontline practitioners will need to do?0:06:07.8 - what will be the ratio of in-person inspection versus reviewing evidence and data? And will you be observing social workers in practice as Ofsted does in its assessment of children’s services?0:07:40.9 - what reassurance can you give about the single word grading system?0:08:58.3 - will the CQC speak to frontline staff without managers present, or let them give their views anonymously during assessments?0:09:39.8 - with councils under such tremendous pressure in social care, and that pressure affecting each authority differently, how will the CQC take this into account in its judgments?0:10:33.8 - the assessment framework says that the CQC will be looking at whether councils have arrangements for ensuring timely assessments, care planning and care reviews. How will timeliness be judged?0:11:22.7 - how far will the CQC be able to judge a council’s level of compliance with the sections of the Care Act it's assessing?0:11:56.6 - does the Department of Health and Social Care have plans to bring in a system of intervention in authorities found to be failing by CQC?0:12:36.6 - what professional expertise or expertise by experience will your inspectors bring to bear in assessing local authorities?0:13:24.7 - how will adult social care benefit from these CQC assessments?
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Campaign podcast with Luke Rodgers
36:03Welcome to this podcast from Community Care for our campaign Choose Social Work. The purpose of the campaign is to champion the profession, encourage the next generation of social workers, and counteract negative media coverage. As part of this, we’re talking to those with lived experience of care about the impact that good social work can have.Our guest is Luke Rodgers, founder and now director of strategy for The Care Leaders, a social enterprise that works with children’s services providing training and consultancy to enhance the lives of children in care, care leavers and those with a social worker.The questions were asked by Natalie Valios, senior content editor, Community Care Inform Adults. [0:01:26.4] Was there a great social worker you remember because they had a positive impact on your childhood?[0:08:13.5] Have you got any tips or advice on how social workers can give children the resilience, power and ownership over who they are, so they remember their social worker fondly in later life?[0:14:15.8] As well as working with practitioners you work with many young people. Have any of them told you positive stories of their social worker that stand out for you?[0:17:53.1] What do you think social workers should stop to consider when writing reports so that young people have a better experience than you did if they choose to look at their case files in later life?[0:26:07.2] How would you suggest a social worker goes about building a relationship with a child they are supporting?[0:31:50.9] What qualities and skills do you think a young person will remember most about their social worker?
What would have improved my care and leaving care experience - with Dan, age 18
46:32In this episode, we spoke to Dan about his experience of the care system and transition to adulthood. He gives his perspective on what being 'ambitious' for children in care should look like, reflections on use of language and practical support for young people going into adulthood. He also shares his thoughts to how professionals view supported accommodation and 'independence' and changes that he feels could make a big difference.Dan spoke too about his positive experiences of social work and what made those important for him. You will also hear his powerful take on the impact of social worker stress on young people and how he'd like to see social work championed and valued.If you have a Community Care Inform licence, you can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/leaving-care-podcast-an-18-year-olds-perspective-on-independence-supported-accommodation-and-good-social-work/You can also read Laura Hanbury's guide to professional curiousity (as mentioned by Dan here) here: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/practice-guidance/how-to-use-professional-curiosity-to-understand-social-and-emotional-responses/You might also be interested in our guide to the 2023 legislation affecting supported accommodation: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/practice-guidance/quick-guide-to-the-supported-accommodation-england-regulations-2023/Find out more about Community Care's #choosesocialwork campaign here: https://view.ceros.com/bonhill/community-care-choose-social-work/p/1 or follow the hashtag on social mediaOther sources Dan mentions:A Community Care article about the charity Become's report on 'ambitions' for children in care: https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2017/07/27/children-care-urge-social-workers-ambitious/The full report (Perceptions of Care, 2017) is available here: https://becomecharity.org.uk/content/uploads/2022/01/perceptions-of-care_final-1.pdfNewsnight segment on 'Britain's hidden children homes': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB2x-bfrDxMAn article on the Newsnight episode was also published on BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-50392297The personal advisor duties are contained in 19B and 19C of schedule 2 of the Children Act 1989 (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1989/41/schedule/2), read alongside the Care Planning regulations 2010 (as amended) (https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/959/contents)This summary on Coram's Child Law Advice website sets out entitlements to personal advisors, pathway plans and needs assessments for children who fall into different categories: https://childlawadvice.org.uk/information-pages/services-for-children-leaving-care/'Social worker took own life after stress caused by work arrangements, coroner rules', Community Care, 2018: https://www.communitycare.co.uk/2018/08/15/social-worker-took-life-stress-caused-work-arrangements-coroner-rules/
Learn on the go: personality disorder
30:39Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss research, theories and practice issues, and look at what they mean for social care practitioners.This episode is about personality disorder, in itself a controversial term because many people find it stigmatising. Guests are Keir Harding and Hollie Berrigan from Beam Consultancy which provides training, consultancy and intervention for those living with complex mental health issues.They discuss why personality disorder is such a messy diagnosis. how and why practitioners need to think in a different way when working with this client group; the role of social workers, occupational therapists and those with lived experience; and the importance of building supportive, containing relationships. The questions were asked by Natalie Valios, senior content editor, Community Care Inform Adults.1:38 - what is meant by personality disorder?5:50 - how and why practitioners need to think in a different way rather than see everything through a lens of personality disorder8:21 - understanding the function of particular behaviours8:58 - the stigma associated with the diagnosis11:36 - what is the social worker's role?15: 50 - what is the occupational therapist's role?18:02 - what is the consultant lived experience practitioner's role?21: 48 - recognising strengths24:48 - the importance of building relationships26:42 - what training is available?29:13 - personality disorder diagnosis in children
Learn on the go podcast: menopause in the social care workplace
26:42Welcome to Learn on the Go, a podcast from Community Care Inform, where we discuss research, theories and practice issues, and look at what they mean for practitioners in social care. This episode is about the menopause and the discussion focuses on some of the less well-known symptoms and the impact they can have on women at work; why understanding the menopause and supporting women through it is particularly relevant for the social care sector; and the difference between a statement of intent and a menopause workplace policy, with suggestions for what to include in both. Our podcast guest is Catherine Pestano, a social worker who set up a project addressing issues around the menopause in the workplace at the local authority where she worked, who now acts as a menopause consultant. Questions are asked by Natalie Valios, senior content editor for Community Care Inform Adults. 02:36 - What are the less well-known symptoms of the menopause?06:30 - Why is understanding the menopause and supporting women at work particularly relevant for local authorities as employers of the social care practitioners? 08:49 - How to set up a project supporting women in the workplace.13:35 - What should be included in a workplace menopause policy?21:00 - How is knowledge of the menopause relevant for social work practice itself?Community Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast here.ReferencesBrewis, J; Beck, V; Davies, A and Matheson, J (2017)The effects of menopause transition on women's economic participation in the UKDepartment for EducationChartered Institute of Personnel and Development and Bupa (2021)A guide to managing menopause at work: guidance for line managers50Plus Choices Employer Taskforce (2021)Menopause and employment: how to enable fulfilling working livesDepartment for Work & Pensions (2022)Menopause and employment: how to enable fulfilling working lives: government response#KnowYourMenopause: the Pausitivity posterLocal Government Association (2019)Managing the menopause at work: the menopause and the local government workforceMaclean, S (2021)Social work and the menopause: social work student connect webinarUnison (2019)The menopause is a workplace issue: guidance and model policyWorkplace resourcesAcasMenopause at workbalance app (founded by Dr Newson)Pestano, C (2018)'An unmentionable change'Public Sector Focus, Issue 17, pp40-41Chartered Institute of Personnel and DevelopmentMenopause in the workplaceTUCMenopause at workUseful organisationsBritish Menopause SocietyNewson HealthTalking Menopause
35:02Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss what the latest research, practice models and policy guidance mean to your practice.This episode is about restorative practice in children's social work. It covers what restorative practice is, what it looks like in practice with children and families and in an organisational culture, and what it might mean to implement it as an individual practitioner as well as at a service-wide level. The guests are Mark Finnis, founder and director of L30 Relational Systems (https://l30relationalsystems.co.uk/childrens-services/) and speaker, author and coach, and Mike Hayward, service manager for professional practice at Dudley Children's Services. The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform Children.3.35 – What is restorative practice?9.42 – How does practice change when an organisation becomes restorative?17.55 - How can individual practitioners implement restorative ideas?26.15 - How does restorative practice fit into the current landscape of approaches and models such as relationship-based practice, strengths-based, trauma-informed, Signs of safety etcCommunity Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/restorative-practice-podcast/You can watch a video where Mark discusses the social discipline window (high challenge, high support and 'working with') here: https://youtu.be/34XUCoI-xu4You might also be interested in our episodes on children's networks: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/49103861
Homelessness and safeguarding
56:31Welcome to Learn on the Go, a podcast from Community Care Inform, where we discuss the latest research, theories and practice issues, and look at what they mean for social workers.This episode is about safeguarding and homelessness. It covers key lessons from safeguarding adults reviews and gives practice advice for social workers working with people who are homeless and have complex needs, experience multiple exclusions, and/or are self-neglecting. Discussing these questions are Michael Preston-Shoot, emeritus professor of social work at the University of Bedfordshire, and Gill Taylor, strategic lead for single homelessness and vulnerable adults at Haringey Council. The questions were asked by Radha Smith, assistant content editor at Community Care Inform Adults. Learning points:- When and how social workers should carry out needs assessments under the Care Act for people who are homeless.- The foundations for positive social care practice in safeguarding people experiencing homelessness.- Strategies for supporting people who are homeless and self-neglecting.Community Care Inform Adults subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://adults.ccinform.co.uk/practice-guidance/homelessness-and-safeguarding-podcast-transcript/In this episode:0.31 – Introduction2.00 – Defining homelessness4.50 – Duty to conduct a needs assessment16.47 – Wrongful assumptions24.44 – Foundations for positive practice32.12 – Multiple exclusion homelessness43.04 – Self-neglect48.08 – Making a real differenceReferences and useful linksBramley, G and Fitzpatrick, S with Edwards, J; Ford, D; Johnsen, S; Sosenko, F and Watkins, D (2015)Hard Edges: mapping severe and multiple disadvantagehttps://lankellychase.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Hard-Edges-Mapping-SMD-2015.pdf?msclkid=e3c74440a6ae11ecb96b228237e6f1d6LankellyChase FoundationCooper, A and Preston-Shoot, M (2022)Adult Safeguarding and Homelessness: Understanding Good Practicehttps://www.bookdepository.com/Adult-Safeguarding-Homelessness-Adi-Cooper/9781787757868Jessica Kingsley PublishersLocal Government Association (2021)Making every adult matter and every contact count: safeguarding people experiencing homelessnesshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfR32HKXHfk(webinar including presentations by people with lived experience referred to in the podcast)Martineau, S J; Cornes, M; Manthorpe, J; Ornelas, B and Fuller, J (2019)Safeguarding, homelessness and rough sleeping: an analysis of safeguarding adults reviewshttps://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/files/116649790/SARs_and_Homelessness_HSCWRU_Report_2019.pdf NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce, The Policy Institute, King’s College LondonMinistry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (2018)The rough sleeping strategyhttps://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-rough-sleeping-strategyPreston-Shoot, M (2020)Adult safeguarding and homelessness: a briefing on positive practicehttps://www.local.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/25.158%20Briefing%20on%20Adult%20Safeguarding%20and%20Homelessness_03_1.pdfLocal Government Association/Association of Directors of Adult Social ServicesPreston-Shoot, M (2021)Adult safeguarding and homelessness: experience-informed practicehttps://www.local.gov.uk/publications/adult-safeguarding-and-homelessness-experience-informed-practiceLocal Government Association/Association of Directors of Adult Social Services(evidence base referred to in the podcast)The Care Act multiple needs toolkithttps://www.voicesofstoke.org.uk/care-act-toolkit/VOICES of Stoke
Children's networks, episode 2: Lifelong Links
50:00Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss what the latest research, practice models and policy guidance mean for your practice.This is our second episode looking at approaches to practice around children’s networks. We discuss the Lifelong Links model with: Pam Ledward, principal social work advisor at Family Rights Group (the charity that developed the model); Eathan, a young person who has built relationships with his uncle, cousins, sister and other family members after spending five of his six years in care without any family connections; Becky, a social worker and Lifelong Links coordinator at Birmingham Children’s Trust who carried out the work with Eathan to start meeting his family; and Emma, team manager for the family group conferencing service at Birmingham Children’s Trust. The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform.Community Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/childrens-networks-part-2-lifelong-links-podcast-episode/For more information about Lifelong Links or to contact Family Rights Group, see https://frg.org.uk/lifelong-links/If you want to ask Eathan anything, you can contact him at [email protected]. Also he explains on the episode, he does public speaking and mentoring. As Becky says, he 'is truly inspirational and is really passionate about his story and how what he has been through in his life may help other care experienced young people.' In this episode:2:14 – What is Lifelong Links?4.11 – A social worker's experience of carrying out Lifelong Links work with a young person12.10 – Eathan’s experience of finding his family14.26 – Implementing the approach in a children’s service17.50 – The co-ordinator role25.58 – The experience of other local authorities29.49 – Dealing with challenges that come up when doing this work41.26 – Evidence and evaluations43.33 – What can social workers elsewhere take from this, even if their service isn’t implementing the model?You can also listen to episode 1 about children’s networks where we spoke to Family Finding, Family Seeing: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/49103861And our 2020 episode on siblings, placement and contact: https://www.spreaker.com/episode/23506960ReferencesLifelong Links: Embedding practice. Briefing paper by Rees Centre, University of Oxford, April 2022 (the longitudinal evaluation that Pam refers to): https://frg.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Lifelong-Links-Embedding-Practice.pdfLifelong Links, Evaluation report. Department for Education, November 2020 (review of the 2017-2020 pilot): https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/955953/Lifelong_Links_evaluation_report.pdf
Children's networks episode 1: Family finding, family seeing
33:13Welcome to Learn on the go, a Community Care Inform podcast where we discuss what the latest research, practice models and policy guidance mean for your practice.This episode, which follows subscribers' requests for resources around children's networks and connections, is about the Family Finding/Family Seeing model which hails from the US but is now being used in other countries, including by several local authorities in the UK. We spoke to Kevin Campbell, the model's author who has over 30 years' experience of social services leadership, and Elizabeth Wendel, co-author of the model and a social worker by background. It covers the roots and scientific underpinning of the approach, including the impact of family separation across the life course, and how the concepts of 'healing' and 'positioning' might be used in social work. Our guests discuss the changes individual practitioners can make in their own work that will make a difference for children and families, whatever imperfect system they are practising in and without waiting for reform. The questions were asked by Joanna Silman, senior content editor at Community Care Inform.Community Care Inform subscribers can access additional resources and a written transcript of the podcast: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/family-finding-family-seeing/References and further reading (websites and article titles are hyperlinks)Familyseeing.org (https://www.familyseeing.org)Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University (https://developingchild.harvard.edu/)Bruce D Perry MD (2004) Maltreatment and the Developing Child: How Early Childhood Experience Shapes Child and Culture (https://www.lfcc.on.ca/mccain/perry.pdf)Jack P. Shonkoff MD and Andrew S. Garner MD PhD (2012), The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress Pediatrics, 129 (1): e232–e246 (https://publications.aap.org/pediatrics/article/129/1/e232/31628/The-Lifelong-Effects-of-Early-Childhood-Adversity)This is the Nuffield report by Amanda Sacker et al that looked at the health and social outcomes in adulthood of 5,700 people who spent time in care as children, compared to those of their age who were not in care: The lifelong health and wellbeing trajectories of people who have been in care: Findings from the Looked-after Children Grown-up Project (https://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/The-lifelong-health-and-wellbeing-trajectories-of-people-who-have-been-in-care.pdf)The study on transitions is discussed in 'Behind the Stats: Mark Courtney on His Newest Study on Transition Aged Foster Youth in California' The Imprint, 6 August 2018 (https://imprintnews.org/analysis/behind-the-stats-mark-courtney-on-his-newest-study-on-transition-age-foster-youth-in-california/3183)Lemn Sissay's 1995 Internal Flight documentary is in three parts on You Tube. His webinar with CC Inform is here: https://www.ccinform.co.uk/learning-tools/webinar-lemn-sissay-reflects-on-transitions-during-world-social-work-day/You can read about the Corrymeela community here: https://www.corrymeela.org/aboutThe JAMA article about DSM mental health dianoses Kevin references is by Kennth S Kendler: Potential Lessons for DSM From Contemporary Philosophy of Science, JAMA Psychiatry, 2022;79(2):99-10. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2786972You can read an open access brief discussion of the article here: https://www.madinamerica.com/2021/12/kenneth-kendler-implausible-psychiatric-diagnoses-even-approximately-true