PRACTICE, POLICY AND INNOVATION
We continue to invest in the practice skills of Frontline fellows who remain in social work. This includes developing their direct work and leadership capabilities. Excellent practice skills are essential for outstanding social workers, and we will continue to support fellows in the approaches in which we have trained them.
Practice Zone in action
To date, activity within this zone of the Fellowship has primarily involved bringing fellows together around specific practice areas.
In addition to this we have run three workshops that focussed on emotional resilience and how to build a toolbox to support it. These were run by a leadership development advisor for the Firstline programme and a Frontline fellow. In the workshops, the fellows discussed the importance of looking after themselves especially as the context that they work in is challenging. These workshops were delivered regionally.
Other activity in the pipeline for the future includes:
- Regional sessions to deconstruct cases and discuss best practice
- Network sessions to focus on one particular practice area
- Workshops to help develop practice skills, leadership techniques and a network of social work professionals
Frontline fellows have the skills and ability to positively influence policy for vulnerable children and families, and the social work sector more broadly. We are always interested in hearing suggestions for how we can support fellows to do so.
Policy Zone in action
There has been a range Fellowship activity within this zone. The Fellowship has sponsored two fellows to attend a public policy event on child poverty. At this event the fellows explored what more needs to be done to tackle child poverty and increase social mobility. They also discussed the implications of the increase in child poverty and assessed what more can be done to assist families most at risk. Speakers included representatives from The Children’s Society and The Childhood Trust.
After attending the public policy event, two of our fellows ran a two-hour long workshop where they shared what they learnt with a group of fellows. The workshop covered the following:
- What is child poverty?
- The latest research and statistics on child poverty
- Key legislation for those interested or working within the area of child poverty
- How poverty impacts children, parents and social work practice
There is a variety of activity in the pipeline for the policy zone. This includes:
- A writing for influence workshop
- An opportunity to be mentored by a journalist
- Policy bites, a vlog to break down areas of policy impacting vulnerable children and families and/or social workers
Frontline fellows can connect with each other to explore, develop and test ideas or initiatives that work towards our mission.
Innovation Zone in action
Our work in this area involves supporting fellows who have innovative ideas. We have been doing this through meetings between fellows and the Fellowship team, as well as connecting fellows with enterprising founders who are operating in a similar context.
We’ve also been facilitating innovation across the Fellowship through our events. These have included founders sharing their stories of how they set up their organisations. Fellows have then been encouraged to think of a problem that vulnerable children and families face, and we’ve taken them through a selection of exercises. These have encouraged them to think creatively about initiatives that would help to solve the highlighted issue.
We’re dedicated to supporting innovation within the Fellowship. Future activity that we’re planning includes:
- A series of innovation events to support fellows
- A regular meet up where fellows share things that haven’t gone so well and how they have learnt from such experiences