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Strengthening Practice Programme

The program is based on best practice around learning transfer and involves participants working with staff over a long period (12 – 18 months) using a variety of methods. The opportunity to think about practice is presented in a number of different ways with core information being repeated and new information being added and practised.

Course aim:

To support practitioners to improve the lives and experiences of children, young people and families through using evidence based practice in their work. The course promotes critical thinking and analysis, good decision making, partnership working and empowerment of children and their families. The emphasis is on helpful interventions based on ‘what works’ from evidence and research.

Content and Structure of the Course

1. Strengthening Assessment

 A two day program to build capacity and knowledge in front line staff to use critical thinking, hypothesizing and defensible decision making in their assessment work. It supports staff to identify and manage risk and demonstrate their ‘workings out’ so they can tested and supported through supervision.

The second day introduces tools such as the Risk and Resilience matrix, the Graded Care profile, the decision tree and the Domestic violence risk matrix to support practitioners to use evidence based tools in their assessment work.

  • Seminar  Why Good Assessments Strengthen Practice 
  • Workshop  Why Good Assessments Strengthen Practice   
  • Workshop   Strengthening Assessment and Intervention Skills   
  • Coaching/Discussion Forum on Assessment Practice       
  • Action Planning      

2. Strengthening Planning 

A two day program that will build capacity and knowledge already gained from the assessment module and support staff to plan meaningful interventions for children in the short medium and long term. The interventions are based on SMART planning and SOS and look at the repair and restoration of children and young people and their families. There is work on building the Secure Base from the work of Schofield as well as use of the NSPCC Restoration planning. The workshop considers all children and young people including those in need, in care and leaving care.

  • Seminar–Strengthening Planning – 3 hours
  • Workshop–Care Planning: Planning for Brighter Futures – 1 day
  • Workshop–Case Planning: Planning for Meaningful Change – 1 day
  • Coaching/Discussion Forum on Planning Practice 2 hours
  • Action Planning – 45 minute phone call

3. Strengthening Supervision 

A two day course for managers, intended to support them to think about the purpose of supervision, identify their strengths and difficulties, reflect on the role in the organisation, the role within the team and their individual responses. They will look at how to manage poor or under-performance of staff and how to get the most out of Supervision. This course is also ran as a one day course for all staff to support them to get the most out of their supervision and to increase responsiveness and responsibility to supervision. This course is currently being further developed as a result of the work being carried out by Jo Fox on the Research in Practice Change Project. 

  • Workshop–Supervising Effectively (Supervisors only) 
  • Workshop–Managing Performance Positively (Supervisors only) 
  • Workshop–Getting the Most out of Your Supervision (Everyone) 
  • Coaching/Discussion Forum on Supervising Practice (Supervisors only) 
  • Action Plan

4. Strengthening Parenting Capacity 

This 2 day course is intended to support practitioner to work well with parents to increase parenting responsibility and responsiveness to their children. It includes understanding capability to parent and making changes within the child’s timeframe. Participants will learn about the latest research of what works in terms of supporting parents and will practice observing parent child interactions. The second day looks at attachment behaviours and the Attachment Regulation and Competency model in parenting. 

  • Seminar–Strengthening Parenting - 3 hours 
  • Workshop – strengthening parenting capacity – 2 days 
  • Coaching on Parenting Capacity Practice 2 hours 
  • Action Planning 45 minute telephone call

5. Strengthening Recording 

This 1 day course is intended to look at the best practice in recording including any guidance from research and peak bodies such as Ofsted. Participants will look at the ethics and the importance of recording as well as the legislative requirements for record keeping and data protection. 

  • Workshops1 day
  • E learning module follow up  2 hours
  • Tools


  • Pre- and post-course questionnaires 
  • Analysis of participants’ knowledge before and after the training 
  • Session evaluation questionnaires 
  • Assessment of the quality of the training 
  • Learning logs
  • Evidence of learning throughout the programme