Strength-based children's social care in Stockport

Featured article - 19 September 2018
Deborah Woodcock, Director of Operations-Stockport Family and Principal Social Worker

Head-shot of the author, Deborah Woodcock, Director of Operations-Stockport Family and Principal Social Worker

Stockport has transformed our children’s services over recent years to create ‘Stockport Family’ which is an integrated and agile early help and social care system that challenges the concept of referrals, thresholds and agency boundaries. Stockport Family works closely with universal services, particularly health, schools and police, to ensure that services can identify needs early and provide timely support and intervention. The integrated structure has strengthened links with midwifery, school nursing, health visitors and early year’s services. We have created a simplified structure to allow professionals and families to “call in” the right intervention, specialist knowledge and skills at the right time.

Stockport has a well-developed 'Team around the School' model, which places skilled and motivated early help practitioners alongside link social workers, school nurses, and other local partners within the community, to work with whole families as need arises.

All work with families is underpinned by Restorative Practice, promoting behaviour and practice which helps to build and maintain healthy relationships; resolve difficulties and repair harm where there has been conflict. The concept of ‘working with’ is embedded in our values and has positively impacted on our culture to deliver strengths based practice and whole system change.

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