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Practice tools and guides

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Guidance, ideas and tools for developing evidence-informed practice.

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Positive mental health and wellbeing in children and young people: Suggestions for practice (2019)

Published: Aug 2019

Positive mental health and wellbeing in children and young people: Suggestions for practice (2019)

This resource aims to help those working with children and young people to:

  • Develop the skills needed to identify mental health needs.
  • Recognise areas of strength and resilience in young People and parents.
  • Provide support through direct work with families.

The approach adopted is informed by the theory and practice of mentalisation, along with other types of effective help such as social support, problem-solving and guided self-help.

Designed for: Social workers, family support workers, and team managers in direct practice with children, young people and families. Also for the wider workforce, including those in education.

Number of pages: 40

Preview available

Product code: CH-PTL-008

Responding to self-harm among children and adolescents: Suggestions for practice (2019)

Published: Aug 2019

Responding to self-harm among children and adolescents: Suggestions for practice (2019)

This resource complements the Understanding self-harm among children and adolescents: Frontline Briefing and is designed to support practitioners in their everyday practice to use research evidence in relation to self-harm.

The four core sections address:

  • What is meant by self-harm, as well as signs of, and risk factors associated with, self-harm.
  • Reasons why young people self-harm and links between suicide and self-harm.
  • How to respond to disclosures of self-harm and engage with young people, including assessments.
  • Guidance on multi-agency working, including working with children and young people’s mental health services.

Designed for: Social workers, family support workers, and team managers in direct practice with children, young people and families. Also for the wider workforce, including those in education.

Number of pages: 28

Preview available

Product code: CH-PTL-009

Working with recurrent care-experienced birth mothers: Resource Pack (2019)

Published: May 2019

Working with recurrent care-experienced birth mothers: Resource Pack (2019)

This resource is available to purchase in hard copy format here.

Social workers, lawyers and judges have long been aware that some women return to court as respondents in care proceedings after having already experienced the removal of one or more children in previous proceedings. It is also recognised that a proportion of these women return to court on many occasions and lose multiple children to public care and adoption.

In 2017, a team at Lancaster University published the final report of a Nuffield-funded research study into Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings (Broadhurst et al, 2017). The Lancaster team, Research in Practice and colleagues from the University of Essex wanted to collaborate to support the use of the research findings to inform more effective ways of working with this population. A Change Project provided an opportunity to work with a group of practice experts who were working to set up or improve support to parents (with a primary focus on mothers) in this situation.

This resource brings together material presented at the Change Project sessions with information, reflections and practice examples provided by those participating.

Designed for: Managers, commissioners and practitioners working in children’s social care, NHS Trusts, health services and third sector organisations.

Number of pages: 52

Preview available

 

Working with recurrent care-experienced birth mothers: Resource Pack (2019) HARDCOPY

Published: May 2019

Working with recurrent care-experienced birth mothers: Resource Pack (2019) HARDCOPY

This resource is available as an open-access PDF download here.

Social workers, lawyers and judges have long been aware that some women return to court as respondents in care proceedings after having already experienced the removal of one or more children in previous proceedings. It is also recognised that a proportion of these women return to court on many occasions and lose multiple children to public care and adoption.

In 2017, a team at Lancaster University published the final report of a Nuffield-funded research study into Vulnerable Birth Mothers and Recurrent Care Proceedings (Broadhurst et al, 2017). The Lancaster team, Research in Practice and colleagues from the University of Essex wanted to collaborate to support the use of the research findings to inform more effective ways of working with this population. A Change Project provided an opportunity to work with a group of practice experts who were working to set up or improve support to parents (with a primary focus on mothers) in this situation.

This resource brings together material presented at the Change Project sessions with information, reflections and practice examples provided by those participating.

Designed for: Managers, commissioners and practitioners working in children’s social care, NHS Trusts, health services and third sector organisations.

Number of pages: 52

Preview available

Intra-familial child sexual abuse: Risk factors, indicators and protective factors: Practice Tool (2018)

Published: Apr 2018

Intra-familial child sexual abuse: Risk factors, indicators and protective factors: Practice Tool (2018)

This resource is designed to support practitioners to use research evidence to structure their thinking in relation to intra-familial child sexual abuse (IFCSA). The idea is to use this alongside existing assessment processes, either while doing an assessment (to focus an analysis in relation to this issue) or when reviewing information that has already been gathered.

The three core sections address:

  • Risks and vulnerabilities associated with IFCSA.
  • Indicators (signs) associated with IFCSA.
  • Factors that may protect children against IFCSA.

Aimed at: Practitioners working with children, young people and families - social workers, family support and youth workers.

Number of pages: 40

Product code: CH-PTL-007

Social work practice in the family court: Practice Tool

Published: Dec 2017

Social work practice in the family court: Practice Tool

The core role of social workers as experts in family court practice drives the need for robust pre-proceedings work and high quality written evidence, including analysis and care planning.

This Practice Tool brings together new and updated resources designed to build analytical skills, support the effective use of research to support decision-making, and prepare for cross-examination.

Aimed at: Social workers preparing and presenting evidence in court and their managers, case progression managers and heads of service in family courts work; children’s guardians, lawyers acting for the local authority, Independent Reviewing Officers.

Number of pages: 32

Product code: CH-PTL-006

Public Law Outline: Mapping Resource (open access)

Published: Jul 2017

Public Law Outline: Mapping Resource (open access)

This learning resources map has been developed to support professionals working with families, legal teams and in the family court. The map is primarily aimed at those preparing and presenting evidence for court, and focuses on robust pre-proceedings work and the quality of written evidence including assessment and care planning.

The quality of court work has been the focus of the Family Justice Review, Knowledge and Skills Statement and other policy initiatives and has been highlighted as an important contributor to achieve the 26-week target for care cases and the best outcomes for children.

Existing Research in Practice resources are highlighted within the resource to help professionals develop analytical skills and use research effectively to support decision-making.

Aimed at: Children’s guardians, lawyers acting for the local authority, IROs, case progression managers, social work managers, social workers preparing and presenting evidence in court.

View the Mapping Resource.

Reflective supervision: Resource Pack (2017)

Published: Apr 2017

Reflective supervision: Resource Pack (2017)

Good reflective supervision facilitates safe practice with children and families.

This package of resources provides a summary of research evidence on reflective supervision alongside learning from practice, and tools to use in one to one and group supervision sessions.

The tools have been designed to support:
• Contracting
• Running group supervision
• Audit
• Critical thinking and analysis
• Emotional resilience
• Recording



These resources are the outputs of a Research in Practice Change Project.

Aimed at: Staff with supervisory responsibilities across early help, targeted support and statutory services with children and families.

A short video of the Camden group supervision model in action



Contact after adoption: Learning Resources (open access)

Published: Mar 2017

Contact after adoption: Learning Resources (open access)

The type and frequency of contact a child has with their birth family needs careful consideration and planning, and should be determined by the needs and best interests of the child, both in the long and short term.

This open access website provides resources for practitioners in making evidence-informed post-adoption contact plans and supporting birth relatives and adopters through contact and planning for their child.

The resources cover:


Each section contains:

  • Research briefings and practical tools for training and working with families.
  • Exercises and case studies to consolidate learning.
  • Video and audio testimonies from children, birth and adoptive families on contact and support.


‘Contact: making good decisions for children in public law’, was a joint project between Research in Practice and the University of East Anglia which brought together practitioners from local authorities and national organisations to work with Professor Elsbeth Neil and independent social worker Polly Baynes to develop these resources.

Aimed at: Those involved in making, reviewing and supporting plans for post-adoption contact.

These learning resources are open access.

Go to the contact after adoption website.

Child sexual exploitation: Practice Tool (2017) (open access)

Published: Feb 2017

Child sexual exploitation: Practice Tool (2017) (open access)

This is an open access resource.
This work was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) and is the original text from which the summary document ‘Tackling child sexual exploitation: Advice for Professionals’ has been drawn.
The document outlines the new civil definition of child sexual exploitation, developed by the Home Office and DfE, together with an overview of our current understanding of the issue and an evidence-informed set of principles for responding. This extended version of the ‘advice’ provides professionals with further background information about child sexual exploitation and offers additional commentary around some of the complexities of practically responding to the issue.

Aimed at: social workers and other children’s services professionals, the police, adult services professionals, teachers and other school staff, GPs, nurses (including school nurses), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services practitioners, midwives, health visitors, early years professionals, youth workers, youth justice professionals, A&E staff, paediatricians, and voluntary and community workers.

Number of pages: 75

This PDF download is an open access resource.

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