This report of the evaluation of relationship-based practice in and Research, the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust, the London Borough We would welcome comments, feedback and questions on this report. Trauma-informed responses in relationship-based practice. 04 June Danny Taggart. I once worked with a young mum who had been referred to a mother. relationship-based approach, and its use in practice in relation to assessment. . a subject that warrants rigorous research because of its relevance to all .. and if so, what kind of help best ﬁts the individual in question and their situation.
We tried a different approach: Once training is finished, learning surgeries continue to provide support. The building blocks for sound practice and effective interventions which are so often underplayed are drawn from experience and real-life observations. For instance, a social worker might be worried about a child whose behaviour is disturbed when at school.
A relationship is established with the family and followed up with extended observation. To avoid confirmatory bias, that hypothesis must be challenged, making sure that any intervention is the right one. Mechanisms must be in place to ensure learning is applied in practice and to force social workers to think deeply and critically about any assumptions they have made.
One way to do this is through group supervision. In East Sussex our learning has been enriched further by jointly investing adult and health sector resources into a team of psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers to offer specialist knowledge and treatment. They have expert knowledge in domestic abuse, sexual abuse, learning disabilities, mental health and substance misuse.
Champions for each of the themes are appointed from frontline teams and after training they go on to offer consultations and share learning within their own teams. Get families involved to protect children from domestic violence Read more For example, a social worker may become frustrated with a parent who repeatedly returns to a violent partner.
The social worker can consult with the domestic abuse champion who would guide them in taking a holistic strengths and skills based approach, advise them on effecting change by identifying triggers and provide help with safety planning. As the work of our champions increases, more resources will be directed towards team-based learning and away from more traditional methods. A social work blog has been set up to spread learning about what practice works.
Social workers are regularly seeing families on their casebook anyway.
Qualities of hope and expectancy that change will occur are also implicated in successful outcomes. What clients want The literature gives clear messages of what clients value. Their conception of friendship identifies qualities of reciprocity of sharing aspects of oneself; of flexibility going the extra mile, perhaps through offering small gifts or maintaining contact out of hoursbut also straight talking.
Kleipoedszus suggests that relationships can be forged through conflict; genuine engagement and negotiation rather than artificial sensitivity make it possible for workers to encourage and nurture change rather than demanding it.
Smith and colleagues identify the centrality of effective relationships even in work with involuntary clients.
In all of this, everyday acts of care and recognition are more important than formal standards and procedural requirements. Professionalism and relationships A renewed emphasis on relationships challenges many of the assumptions that have built up over what it is to be a professional. Professionalism is often associated with certainty, expertise and theoretical knowledge Brodie and colleagues, Noddingshowever, distinguishes between professionalism and professionalisation.
She suggests that the latter is the result of a codified and rule-bound conception of professionalism that derives from a quest for status. There is, however, little connection between such rule-bound professionalisation and positive outcomes.
Indeed, it can create a distance between social workers and clients, that a more relational form of professionalism might work to reduce.
Evidence based practice makes things better for vulnerable people
Murphy and colleagueson the other hand, suggest that the professional role significantly compromises the ability to form genuine relationships. Part of the difficulty in reconciling different understandings of professionalism is the tendency in the UK to conceive of separate personal and professional selves.
Practice traditions such as social pedagogy introduce a third element, the private. This poses challenges for workers and for organisations that operate to a narrow understanding of what constitutes acceptable personal and professional boundaries Maidment, It is important to distinguish between boundaries, which are dynamic and can be deployed flexibly, and barriers, which are static and prioritise consistent application.
In practice, individual practitioners act in ways that might be thought to be subversive of practice norms Alexander and Charles, Coadyfor instance, offers examples of the kind of flexibility required in negotiating everyday care practices. One of the difficulties that can arise in increasingly managerial and regulated practice cultures, however, is a tendency to minimise the complexity of such boundary work and to operate fixed understandings of the lines between professional, personal and private domains.
Relationship based practice | Topics | CfSWP
This leaves workers vulnerable to disciplinary action should they cross externally determined boundaries McLaughlin, This is not fixed and, as we enter relationships, we draw upon what we feel is required to engage with others within a given context. In social work, this is made more complex by the addition of professional values, roles and expectations.
Hennessey argues that this balancing act should be explicit and not shied away from; rather, it should be harnessed and used to bring about change. Barnes and colleagues go further and underline the interdependence between social workers and service users, where both parties bring their own experiences and contexts to the encounter, laying the foundations for a trusting and dynamic relationship.
This requires a social worker to be able to develop a relationship that has a level of trust and which facilitates the sharing of emotions. This may require a degree of emotional exposure in order to truly understand the feelings of another and be able to express this in a genuine and attuned manner.NRDNP 858 Differences between research and evidence based practice
Transference and counter-transference A psychodynamic perspective can help social workers consider the impact of unconscious previous experiences within relationship building.
The concept of transference reminds us that individuals can unconsciously transfer past feelings into the present. Ruch illustrates this with an example of previous negative experiences of parenting being transferred by some service users into the relationship with their social worker.
This dynamic can often be difficult to understand and manage and social workers can, in turn, find themselves reacting unconsciously, in a process known as counter-transference. Equally, social workers need to be mindful of their own unconscious transference and how that may impact on dynamics within relationships they form. Such dynamics can be powerful and frightening, but can also be hugely helpful for social workers in understanding the inner worlds of service users and themselves.
In turn this can lead to more positive relationship building Agass, Emotional intelligence Ingram highlights the role of emotional intelligence as a trait and skill that can help social workers manage the emotional complexities of practice. Emotional intelligence can be briefly defined as the ability of an individual to: Such capacities are crucial for RBP, as they underline the existence and importance of emotions as a stream of information within social work relationships and practice Munro, Reflection and reflexivity Reflection has a long and important role in social work education and practice Knott and Scragg, Social workers are encouraged from the point of entry onto qualifying programmes to engage in reflective processes, which help unpick the feelings, thoughts and actions present in practice.
The concept of reflexivity takes this personal reflection further through consideration of what the worker themselves bring to a situation. This includes their own assumptions, preconceptions or bias — and also through encouraging the examination of wider factors such as power, culture and social exclusion. This sits very comfortably with previous discussions about self-knowledge and emotional intelligence and is a crucial element of the professional infrastructure required for RBP.
Opportunities for reflection This need for reflection requires opportunities, relationships and environments that are conducive and safe for social workers to explore the complexities of practice. These conditions should be characterised by trust, openness and should resist the urge to rush for clarity and resolution Cornish, The most familiar forum for such reflection in social work is within the supervisory relationship, which often has a dual function of support and management.
There are, however, other opportunities for reflection. For example, social workers cite the informal support of colleagues as crucial, as it can allow for prompt, unrecorded explorations of practice with someone who may have similar experiences and challenges Ingram, This need not require any formal structure and is a process that, as humans, we engage in to a greater of lesser extent to examine our thoughts and actions.
In RBP this is, simply, a prerequisite. Future implications for social work The foregoing discussion highlights the central importance of social work relationships; they are, arguably, the defining characteristic of the profession.
While many might agree with this assertion on a surface level, few, perhaps, have thought through its implications. RBP collides with and poses a fundamental challenge to managerial approaches to social work, foregrounding relationships, in all their ambiguity and messiness, above the bureaucratic, instrumental and ostensibly rational foundations of contemporary practice. Embracing RBP would call for a radical shift in how worker-client relationships are conceived, opening up possibilities for a greater ethical symmetry between worker and client Lynch,recognising agency and balancing power between fellow human subjects.
It might also prompt the deconstruction of current terminology Smith and Smith,replacing words like boundary, compliance, delivery, intervention and outcome with those of association, help, friendship, love and compassion.