Improvement Update

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Improvement Update - August 2019

Next Ofsted Monitoring Visit

Work is underway to prepare for the next Ofsted monitoring visit which is scheduled to take place on 16 and 17 October. The visit will focus on children on the edge of care and pre proceedings (PLO) cases.

Social worker recruitment

Recruitment Event

We’re working on a number of initiatives to support the recruitment of social workers to the district. A recruitment event will take place on 10 September between 4.30pm and 8pm in Margaret McMillan Tower. The evening will provide possible applicants with information on what working in Bradford is like, a chance to talk to social workers already in post and to meet our new Strategic Director of Children’s Services, Mark Douglas. So please spread the word and encourage people who are qualified or who want to retrain and develop their career to attend.

Growing our own

With the support of the Teaching Partnership, four of our current workforce are undertaking the three year social work degree apprenticeship at Bradford College starting this September. The Bradford Teaching Partnership was launched in July and brings Bradford Council, Bradford College and the University of Bradford together to provide high quality training for social work students and qualified practitioners.

Supporting newly qualified social workers

The Council has also recruited 11 newly qualified social workers who started on student placements with us. The students want to stay with the Council as their employer of choice due to the positive experience they had in their placements. They are being supported with their knowledge and skills through the Teaching Partnership.

Since January this year, 18 newly qualified social workers have completed their assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE) year with Bradford to progress their skills and experience in social work, with a further 17 due to completer their ASYE by the end of October.

Supporting our staff

NAAS accreditation

A number of staff are undertaking the assessment process for the national assessment and accreditation of social workers (NAAS) to become accredited practitioners. There are two levels, practitioner and practice supervisor (manager). NAAS is intended to provide more vulnerable children and families with access to expert, high quality support and protection and deliver a national benchmark of good practice for children and family social workers. Congratulations on their accreditation to both Claire Watkins the NAAS Programme Lead, who has successfully met the practitioner level, and Traci Taylor, Principal Social Worker, who has met the practice supervisor (manager) level. We look forward to seeing more staff gain their accreditation in the near future.

Support for new practitioners

A joint practice development event with an external speaker looking at resilience, self-care and well-being has been held as part of our support for our ASYE practitioners across children’s and adults’ services.

A series of mindfulness sessions for staff will be starting in September to ensure that we give staff the skills to look after themselves in a challenging environment.

Early Help support for families and young people

Praise for work with families 

The Family Links Nurturing Programme has been delivered across the district. The Nurturing Programme aims to help adults understand and manage feelings and behaviour and become more positive and nurturing in their relationships with children and each other. It encourages an approach to relationships that gives children and adults an emotionally healthy start for their lives and learning. Here are some of the comments parents have given us.

“Relaxed informal and welcoming, gained more confidence.”

“Will be more understanding and take time to think about stress on children.”

“Will be more positive.”

“Feeling a lot calmer.”

While our Time out for Dads sessions have also been very popular in supporting dads to gain confidence in parenting. One dad commented: “I have enjoyed the sessions, they have helped me a lot, I want to be the best dad that I can be to my little boy.”

Working with partners to integrate prevention and early help

Workshops have been held across the district for each of the Family Hubs, to support the integration of prevention and early help and the 0-19 health service. They were each attended by 40 to 50 staff from the two services.

The workshops helped staff from school nursing, health visiting, and prevention and early help to get to know each other and their respective roles. It also helped them understand the shared vision for the family hub model and how staff can really make a difference. 

Network events to support collaboration

Area Advisory Network Events are taking place for local groups, agencies and organisations that provide support to local families. The events gives them a regular opportunity to get together to share practice, information and to develop opportunities for increased collaboration and partnership.

The last event focused on tackling domestic violence and was attended by over 170 people from schools and the voluntary and public sector. The event was supported by services that work with men, including: Men Standing Up - who support victims of violence; Bradford Maze - who work with male perpetrators; and White Ribbon UK - whose campaign works with men to challenge male violence.  The next event will be in the autumn and will focus on young people’s mental health. Contact your local family hub to find out more. 

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