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Strengths-based leadership programme

This CPD accredited programme from the Social Care Institute for Excellence and the University of Birmingham is designed to support practice leaders to demonstrate leadership through engaging with academic insights, critically reflecting on their own leadership, and developing a community of practice with their peers.

This programme builds in the learning from an initial pilot programme and our considerable experience of supporting education and research on strengths-based practice, as well as being co-produced with people who draw on care and support.

More about strengths-based approaches

Social care now has a greater emphasis on building on the strengths of individuals and families, and the assets within communities. This reflects a recognition that whilst professional expertise and support can play an important role, wellbeing for children and adults is built on our personal skills, capabilities and interests, informal networks and personal resilience.

Strengths-based practice requires professionals to move from traditional models which emphasised what people could not do and how such deficits could be met by professionals, to instead work with children, adults and families to understand their aspirations and how to support them to achieve these.

A strengths-based approach requires a new kind of leadership, which draws strength from many more sources: the whole team, voluntary sector and other partners, and most importantly, from citizens themselves … the key measure of success is not their own strength, but the combined strength and capacity of the whole system.

Alex Fox, former CEO of Shared Lives Plus

Overview of programme – three main sections.

  • Introduction to Leadership & Leadership of Self to lead development of strengths-based practice
  • Leadership of Teams & Leadership of Systems
  • Leadership of Change
  • Core content will be delivered through e-learning which participants can access at a time convenient to them
  • Four virtual contact days for peer reflection, support and challenge
  • Learning groups for a safe forum for in-depth discussions
  • Participants will gather data to help them understand their leadership strengths and how these can be developed
  • An improvement project to enable participants to explore their strengths and learning in practice and to make a practical difference

Who is this programme for?

The programme is designed for practitioners working in children’s and adults’ social care, including (but not limited to): Team leaders or managers and assistant leaders or managers, senior social work practitioners, consultant social workers or senior occupational therapists.

How much time will I need to commit?

The programme will typically run for five months. Participants will be expected to commit at least 15 days. This will include engaging with formal learning and undertaking work-based activities. Employers will be expected to support participants through providing them with time to engage with the learning and to undertake the work-based tasks.

How to access the programme?

This programme is offered to local authorities or other interested social care organisations and tailored to your requirements and local context. We are also running an open access programme for individuals.

I'm interested in this programme for my team and organisation

I'm interested in this programme for myself as an individual

Next cohorts:

  • July 2024 – January 2025

CPD accreditation

CPD Standards Office accredited course ref no : 60036/50.

CPD Standards Office Accredited Course

We do not often get the time and space to specifically work on leadership skills during our day job. The programme was a real opportunity to reflect on and explore in-depth what leadership not only means to you, but also what it looks like for you in practice.

Senior social worker

Leadership programme flyer