What we do

young man

We are a social worker led organisation dedicated to improving working conditions for practitioners. We help practitioners remove the barriers that prevent them from spending time directly in practice. We empower practitioners to lead on making small changes before co-designing local blueprints that set out a range of experiments to address systemic barriers that take away time from direct practice, improving practitioner job satisfaction, morale and wellbeing.

Our work started from a position of hope and optimism for the future of children’s social care. Built on the first-hand experience of seeing practitioners do their best to support and protect children and families every day, we are working to help create the conditions needed for relationship-based social work to thrive.

We know that effective social work requires relationships built on trust, dedication and time.

The final report on Round 2 of the Department for Education’s children’s social care Innovation Programme (September 2020) concludes the most effective practice has the following characteristics:

  • Relationship-based: building consistent, trusting relationships and providing time for this;
  • Strengths-based: bolstering and leveraging strengths and resources to identify solutions and working together to progress towards positive outcomes;
  • Holistic: providing multi-faceted support to address multiple needs and issues in a coherent, joined-up way.
young man with baby

In accordance with this, our work is grounded in two core principles:

  • Prioritising relationships between social workers/practitioners and children and families, and time spent together;
  • Co-creating change with practitioners, to ensure change is done with and not done to.

We work with organisations to increase the amount of time practitioners spend in direct practice with children and families.

We draw on our small changes methodology to break down the barriers which prevent practitioners from spending time investing in relationships with families. The approach centers and values practitioners’ knowledge, expertise and experience. Changes are designed and delivered by practitioners as they are best positioned to identify what needs to change to enable them to build more meaningful relationships with children and families. This has a positive impact on wellbeing, job satisfaction and morale, bringing people together across whole organizations.

old woman

“I’ve worked in Warrington for 20 years now, and I’ve never seen managers so present in the office and at meetings - I’ve also noticed how people are much more likely to strike up casual conversations with their colleagues across different wings of the service. There’s a real sense of optimism now, across our organisation, that this momentum can be sustained, for the benefit of us working in the social care profession in Warrington, and most importantly for the children and families who need our service.”

Lisa, Warrington Borough Council