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Partners in Practice

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Overview

The Leeds’ PIPs programme aims to achieve holistic, restorative child and family centred services by focusing on the importance of relationships. Their work has the following key strands:

  • Restorative Early Support Teams (RESTs) working closely with clusters (schools, other local partners) in areas of highest need;
  • Improving practice with adolescents: reviews of work with adolescents led to the development of the Leeds Practice Model and Re-think Formulation Forums to unify and develop multi-agency practice and analysis.  Leeds have also established a small Futures team to work with young parents, particularly those with care experience, to offer support the following the removal of a child; and
  • The Leeds Relational Practice Centre, promoting children’s services sector-led improvement through the power of relationship-based practice.

Understanding what works

Leeds are working with local partners, with children and families in their communities, and with other local authorities through collaboration, sharing best practice, and offering support and challenge to drive improvement rather than impose intervention.

Restorative Early Support Teams (RESTs) are being developed in partnership with schools, health and other local partners.  The presence of social workers in RESTs builds practitioner expertise and capacity, as well as developing relationships between local agencies for the benefit of children and families identified as being vulnerable to poor outcomes.  The focus of the REST is to, where possible, to keep the child within their family network and local community.

Alongside this structural change, Leeds has focused on changes in practice, informed by research and case audits.  They are embedding the Leeds Practice Model across the city, focusing on Re-think formulation to understand and analyse information about children and young people, the Leeds Practice Principles and the use of outcomes-focused supervision.  The model will encourage practitioners to build effective relationships with families, offering high support and high challenge to build their resilience and help them to connect with the right support at the right time.  For vulnerable young parents, the Leeds Futures team will take a positive, restorative approach to supporting families after a child has been removed from their care to help prevent cycles of recurrent care proceedings.

Sector improvement

The Leeds Relational Practice Centre has been established to support sector-led improvement through the power of relationship-based practice. This is delivered through:

  • Developing networks of local authorities, academics and experts to share learning and best practice;
  • Running a programme of events and conferences on different aspects of children’s services practice;
  • Developing and sharing learning resources, for example documents articulating the Leeds improvement journey; and
  • Providing additional support for direct sector-led improvement with local authorities, working with staff and managers with a restorative, high support and high challenge approach based on relationships rather than more punitive or compliance-led intervention

Other Partners in Practice