Starting the culture change journey
Listen to Maria explain how changing paperwork and processes to become outcome focused made a positive difference to families
We loved the training, we just embraced it and thought this is exactly why we went into
social work in the first place.
When we went back into the team, the important thing really was,
what are we going to do next?
What are we going to do now?
What we did was set up regular meetings on a fortnightly basis, to meet and talk about cases.
So we started talking about how we would work different cases in more of an outcome focused way.
Then we started looking at paperwork and how we would score.
We met up with business support and looked at how we could work with the system, and
they came up with scoring sheets.
So little by little we started implementing it in the team, we had the system set up so
that we could score on the system.
So we could go into case recordings and say how people were feeling, to score their outcomes.
And it was working within the team, but what we quickly realised was we're working in isolation
here, it was really difficult for us because we felt that actually cases were coming up
to us and then we were working with them in a different kind of approach really.
We all felt it was more or less going back to old fashioned social work, all those values.
It was, I think at first, we found it a little bit difficult because we were used to rushing
in and putting plasters on everything and wanting to fix everything.
So we really needed to, we quickly realised we needed to do some exercises together, to
sit back and just say to people 'Tell me how you're feeling'.
And even when there are risky situations, rather than going in and saying 'Oh we're
scared about this...', just to sit back and say 'Okay what's been going on for you?'.
Having different conversations actually lowered barriers quite quickly.
So instead of going in and saying look we've had this referral, we're really worried, what
have you done, we said look we have had this referral, tell me about your life, what's
going on for you, what's happening for you.
And people didn't have their backs up.
It prevented them from being so scared, and they were able to just talk to us.
And what we found then was that hidden harm went down quite quickly really.
So we embraced it, and then just at a time when Neath Port Talbot was in a really good
place, we'd come out of a difficult period, I went to a management meeting, and the then
head of service Andrew Jarrett started talking about how we can implement any models, signs
of safety, motivational interviewing.
And then I jumped up and down and said hang on a minute what about outcomes focused work?
What about the work that we've been doing.
So we had a long discussion then about what we were doing, and he absolutely embraced
that, loved it, and then wanted all the managers to have the training.
And they all had the training, everybody straight away said yes this is what we want, it's very
similar to signs of safety, your motivational interviewing, but we felt that it was a bit
more fluid, we could work with it.
It wasn't so rigid, so we could work with it in our own way.