Our approach

Systemic practice

Systemic Practice is embedded in our service. We offer introductory training in systemic practice and development is supported by the use of reflecting teams as a model for group reflective supervision which is based upon systemic ideas. We currently have 24 practitioners who are undertaking the Foundation year in systemic practice which is accredited by the Association of Family Therapy and is being delivered by our partners the Institute of Family Therapy. These practitioners will have the opportunity to further their training and qualify as Systemic Practitioners, fully supported by us here in Children and Learning. Some may even decide to complete the additional two years and qualify as Systemic Family Therapists, a training offer we would seek to support.

What is systemic practice?

Our Practice Framework encourages the creativity and professional judgement of the practitioner. It enables reflexivity within an overarching approach that is rooted in systemic practice but encompasses the ethos and techniques of other closely aligned relationship-based components, including restorative practice, trauma informed approaches and motivational interviewing.

Systemic practice promotes the belief that families have the capacity to change. In this approach, challenges are seen to exist within the context of relationships, rather than being located within individuals.

Patterns of beliefs and behaviour within families can be strengths and protective factors, but they can also give rise to problems in daily life. Systemic practice provides us with a way of being and ideas for practice that enable us to gather information and explore differing perspectives with families about these helpful and sometimes harmful behaviours in relationships. We understand that when undertaken with families with intent and purpose, by a practitioner who understands their influence in the change relationship, long lasting positive change for families can occur. This is why alongside our unmatched training offer; we also provide extensive access to group reflective supervision sessions based on the reflecting teams model and systemic case consultations.

Family Safeguarding Model

We are embracing this way of working in Southampton and expect this multi-agency and solution focussed approach to be embedding in our service early 2024.

Social Workers - Are you special enough for us? Should we trust you to love and care for us?

Here at Southampton Children and Learning, we take what our children say very seriously indeed. Below is what our Children in Care Council have told us is important to them in making a good social worker.

Applicants should therefore please ask themselves whether they can offer this level of service to our children. Those who cannot need not apply!

Southampton Voices Unite - Children in Care Council – Social Worker Person Specification

This is what we think makes the best, kind, loving and dedicated social worker the best they can be.

A social worker should be reliable and do what they say they are going to do - do not let us down! Do not break promises!

A social worker should respect me, my parents, and carers. This doesn’t mean that my parents’ wishes are more important than mine because I am a child!

A social worker should be a good listener and hear what I am saying - even when you really do not agree!

A social worker should be able to have good conversations with me whatever mood I am in - they should also text, call or meet me outside of my home if I request so.

A social worker should dream with me about an exciting future and do everything they can to make this happen – even if it is out of 9-5 office hours. We are not children only for office hours so please do not think you only need to be our social worker until 5pm.

A social worker should try to know what I am feeling - pick up on what I am saying, doing or not!

This is how a social worker should make us feel:

  • That we can trust them
  • Like we are the only child or young person they are looking after!
  • That you like us
  • That you want to spend time with us
  • That you are there for us
  • That you are someone we can rely on
  • That you want us to be:
    • Happy
    • Safe
    • Warm
    • Loved

If you think you are a social worker who can do all what is written above, then please apply to work with us! You will not regret it!