I have been a practicing social worker since qualifying from York in 1999 and have always worked with children and families. I have worked across the full range of thresholds from therapeutic work with children to Child Protection. I currently work at North Yorkshire County Council as a Practice Supervisor in Early Help.
I have a particular interest in the application of evidence based parenting programmes following a role I undertook as part of a government initiative to ensure consistency of standards in parenting work across the country. This involved scrutinising the research base of programmes and assessing the suitability of their application for staff across North Yorkshire County Council to train to deliver across differing age ranges and tiers of need. As part of this role I developed an interest in attachment based parenting interventions and have designed and delivered interventions where children are in the process of care proceedings and at risk of permanent removal from their birth mothers. This work has been influenced by trauma informed practice, unmet (childhood) needs of adults and the work around epigenetics on unborn children.
Following three years of training in Systemic Family Therapy I now consistently adopt a systemic approach to all of my social work practice, both in direct work with families and in my management role within my service.
I endeavour to promote the integration of systemic principles into social work practice in my service with the inclusion of, for example, hypothesising, cultural genograms and isomorphism, the stance of curiosity and use of the Reflecting Team model to encourage the generation of ‘difference’ and the inclusion of multiple perspectives. Within my management role I particularly draw upon Structural and Narrative Family Therapy models for their application to parenting and working with children to externalise difficulties and avoid individual pathologising of children.
One of my strengths is around my adoption of Relational practice and modelling a non ‘expert’ position, particularly with regard to the relationship with my supervisees and the corresponding idea of the ‘Golden Thread’ to ultimately improve outcomes for children and families - regularly applying the model of Social Graces and considering the influence of Family Scripts - alongside a consideration of the homeostasis of the wider systems of the organisation.
In my role as lecturer practitioner I enjoy having the opportunity to share current practice thinking and approaches alongside the underpinning academic framework and helping to develop the students’ critical thinking around the dynamics of practice.
Lecturer Practitioner Social Work
School for Business and Society