The Strengthening Practice Programme was developed by practitioners from Children and Adult Social Care over a number of years. Its purpose is to offer post qualified staff working with children, adults and their families access to up to date knowledge and research that can be applied in a practical way day to day. The overall aim of the program is to be helpful to practitioners and their management in carrying out their roles.
KEY CONCEPTS: The programme has three key concepts that build successful transference of training into practice. Partnership Structure Content
1. PARTNERSHIP - the approach taken by CCP and the commissioning authority is one of working together with the common aims of supporting practitioners to deliver excellent services. Leadership in terms of the key messages and content, the environment into which these messages are delivered and the behaviour of leadership and CCP teams are crucial to the programmes' success.
The programme content is able to be tailored to meet the specific needs of the commissioning organisation and any materials or practice or pro forma specific to the organisation can also be included and emphasised.
The seminar offers a chance for involvement of the leadership team as key speakers. This promotes clarity of expectations in the workforce that contributes positively to the program success.
Team manager participation in the programme, especially the workshops and the ALS provides the maximum opportunity for training transfer into the workplace.
1. STRUCTURE - the programme has a number of learning tiers designed to rehearse, and embed the practitioners knowledge and skills. These tiers are:
a) Seminars - each topic area has a large event with a guest speaker from the commissioning organisation and a speaker with up to date national knowledge on the topic area. These events are a chance for the organisation to communicate their key messages to their staff and set out the purpose of the programme. These seminars are for all staff and partner agencies where appropriate.
b) Workshops - these 2 day face to face workshops build on the messages from the seminar. The workshops are interactive and practical, adopting a tell-show-do approach which requires demonstration by participants of the skills acquired. These workshops are attended by all staff nominated for the program including team managers and middle management where appropriate.
c) Action Learning Sets - Held 6 weeks after the workshops to re-visit key skills and explore transference in the workplace, these learning sets are for small cohorts (usually teams). It provides an opportunity to look at behaviour change and identify barriers in the work place alongside skill rehearsal.
A typical programme consists of 5 modules and runs over 18 months with staff groups of up to 150 participating.
2. CONTENT - EVIDENCE BASED: The programme, based on the tasks of assessment, planning, intervention and review, uses a mix of evidence based research and tools to provide practitioners with a range of strategies and approaches. The course writers are associate members of Research in Practice, BASW and hold social work degrees or are commissioned specifically to write in their area of expertise (communication, law). Each module is mapped against the PCF and the Skills and Knowledge frameworks.
Each module is informed by the service user pathway and by the day to day tasks of the practitioners. The modules are built to re-inforce and compliment each other so that the commissioning organisations key messages and skill requirements are re-inforced over the programmes' life.
The programme has an emphasis on supporting practitioners to draw on practice wisdom, knowledge and critical thinking to identify and deliver helpful interventions to service users.
The modules include: Strengthening Assessment, Strengthening Planning, Strengthening Parenting Capacity, Strengthening Supervision, Strengthening Communication, Strengthening Attachment, Strengthening Recording and Strengthening Interventions.