PRACTICE, POLICY AND INNOVATION
We continue to invest in the practice skills of fellows who remain in social work. This includes developing their direct work and leadership capabilities. We want to support fellows to constructively disrupt, innovate and challenge within their systems and beyond, to drive improvement. 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.
If you are a fellow and have an idea for the practice zone, get in touch. We would love to hear your ideas.
Practice Zone in action
The Fellowship is directed and led by fellows, as is the content of the Fellowship practice zone. We regularly meet with fellows to discuss their ideas for practice workshops and facilitate the delivery of these. We have also funded a number of fellows to attend conferences on specific practice topics, such as supporting children and young people with their mental health.
To date, there have been a range of exciting practice workshops in the Fellowship:
- This year, a fellow facilitated a workshop in London on contextual safeguarding
- A fellow, alongside a leadership development advisor for the Firstline programme, led three workshops across the country that focussed on emotional resilience and how to build a toolbox to support it.
- At the Fellowship Annual Event 2017 – which brings fellows together for an evening of networking and a day of workshops – there were a number of practice workshops. For example, Dr David Shemmings OBE led a workshop which looked at why and how we can go beyond ‘wishes and feelings’ to explore the child’s inner world, to begin to understand what life is like for them.
Frontline fellows have the skills and experience to positively influence policy for vulnerable children and families, and the social work profession more broadly.
If you are a fellow who’s interested in the Policy zone, please get in touch. We would love to hear your ideas.
Policy Zone in action
There has been a range of Fellowship activity within this zone:
- A fellow who works at the Department for Education organised a roundtable, where fellows brought their first-hand experience and opinions to policymaking decisions.
- The Fellowship team ran a series of workshops around the country called ‘Push for Change’, which equipped fellows with key tools to influence policy at a local and national level.
- All fellows have been signposted to social work consultations, as well as guidance on contributing to these, enabling fellows wherever they are to input into decision-making.
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
Frontline fellows can connect with each other to explore, develop and test ideas or initiatives that work towards our mission.
If you are a fellow and would like to get involved in our innovation work, please contact us. We would love to hear your ideas.
Innovation Zone in action
Through this area we support fellows who have innovative ideas, whether this is a change they’d like to see where they are working or an idea that has the potential to be a social enterprise. We support them in a number of ways including connecting them with experts in innovation or individuals who have completed something similar in the past.
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.