• How is supervision recorded in child and family social work? an analysis of 244 written records of formal supervision

      Wilkins, David (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2016-10-20)
      Written records belie the complexity of social work practice. And yet, keeping good records is a key function for social workers in England (and elsewhere). Written records provide a future reference point for children, especially those in public care. They are foundational for the inspection of children's services. They provide practitioners and managers with an opportunity to record their thinking and decisions. They add to result from and cause much of the bureaucratic maze that practitioners have to navigate. As part of a wider study of child and family social work practice, this paper describes an analysis of more than 200 written records of supervision. These records primarily contain narrative descriptions of activity, often leading to a set of actions for the social worker to complete - what they should do next. Records of why these actions are necessary and how the social worker might undertake them are usually absent, as are records of analytical thinking or the child's views. This suggests that written records of supervision are not principally created in order to inform an understanding of the social work decision-making process; rather, they are created to demonstrate management oversight of practice and the accountability of the practitioner.
    • Partners in practice: developing integrated learning opportunities on the Frontline child and family social work qualifying programme

      Domakin, Alison; Curry, Liz (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2017-08-23)
      The Frontline programme is a social work qualifying route, in England, featuring a different approach to curriculum design and delivery. Students are based in groups of 4, learning through practicing social work in a statutory child and family social work setting, alongside a Consultant Social Worker (in the role of practice educator). They are also supported by an Academic Tutor who works in partnership with the Consultant Social Worker to facilitate learning. A weekly “unit meeting” is a foundational aspect of the programme, providing opportunities for in-depth discussion, teaching, and reflection on practice with families. The authors worked together over the first 2 cohorts of the programme and undertook action research to explore the learning opportunities that arise when academic staff and practitioners work side by side to support student learning in this model. Three broad themes were identified which were considered to be significant in helping students to learn which are explored in the paper: Learning through engaging in joint dialogue about practice in a unit meeting The influence of relationships on learning in social work The importance of a connected model of learning which has practice with children and families at its heart.
    • What do we know about transgender parenting?: findings from a systematic review

      Hafford-Letchfield, Trish; Cocker, Christine; Rutter, Deborah; Tinarwo, Moreblessing; McCormack, Keira; Manning, Rebecca; Middlesex University; University of East Anglia; University of Bedfordshire; Gender Essence & Essence Arts, Belfast; et al. (Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2019-04-14)
      Transgender issues are under-explored and marginalised within mainstream social work and social care professional practice. The experience of gender transition has a profound impact on the individuals who have diverse gender identities and their family members. We present findings from a systematic review of studies concerning the experiences of transgender parenting conducted during January–September 2017. We took a life course approach, examining the research studies that investigated the experience of people identifying as transgender, who were already parents at the time of their transition or who wished to be parents following transition. The review evaluated existing findings from empirical research on transgender parenting and grandparenting to establish how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following transition, and sought to consider the implications for professional practice with trans people in relation to how best to support them with their family caring roles. We used the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) method. Empirical studies published from 1 January 1990 to 31 April 2017 in the English language, and which had transgender parenting as a significant focus, were included in the review. Twenty-six studies met the criteria. Key themes reported are: how trans people negotiate their relationships with children following disclosure and transition; the impact of parental transitioning on children; relationships with wider families; trans people's desires to be parents; and the role of professional practice to support trans families. We discuss how the material from the review can inform social work education and practice, including to help identify future research, education and practice priorities in this area.