Customised Training Programmes
A programme of training and development work was commissioned by the City of Wolverhampton Council and delivered by Child and Family Training (C&FT) from December 2015. Ten cohorts of practitioners have undertaken the programme to date (summer 2017) from teams across the range of services working with children, young people, parents, carers and families, including staff from:
- looked after children/children in care – and including dedicated team working Early help / strengthening families
- intensive Family Support
- SW teams: working with children ‘in need’ including children in need of protection and with children and young people who are disabled
- family finding, family carers, fostering and adoption: recruitment, assessment and support
- hospital social work
- residential care
It is planned that this core programme will continue for newly qualified social workers and staff joining authority into 2018 and 2019.
The programme of training has been mapped against: local priorities, practice themes and approaches including: assessment and analysis; care planning; managing risk; professional curiosity and communication with other agencies – and also against Working Together 2015; and the Knowledge and Skills Statements for approved child and family practitioners (Nov 2015).
The programme comprises two days training on ‘Assessment, Analysis and Planning Interventions’ for all participants (early help/strengthening families staff, social workers, some managers) and a third day on ‘Permanency Planning’ for social workers.
Associated reflective practice/coaching sessions are linked to each of the formal training input days and these aim to further develop participants’ knowledge, skills and values for effective work; to support the application of learning into practice, and to provide an opportunity to reflect on practitioners’ work.
The programme aims to enhance practitioners’ confidence and competence in their work in relation to a number of critical practice themes: working directly with children and young people promoting children and young people’s ‘voice’; working with parents a carers; working with difference and diversity, building strengths and overcoming difficulties; legislation, statutory guidance, policies and procedures; knowledge, theory, research and evidence-based practice; intra- and inter-agency practice. The programme is structured in relation to core practice processes: assessing and analysing; decision-making; planning; intervening; reviewing and evaluating – linked with the C&FT ‘seven stages’ framework.
The workshop programme has drawn on C&FT’s extensive range of evidence-based practice resources, tools and instruments and related standardised training courses and learning development materials to create a customised programme that meets the specific requirements of the council, its staff, teams and services and, especially, the needs of children, young people, parents and carers with whom they work.