Limits to Partnership Working: developing relationship based approaches with children and their families

Holt, Kim and Kelly, Nancy (2018) Limits to Partnership Working: developing relationship based approaches with children and their families. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law. ISSN 0964-9069

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09649...

Abstract

Located within a context of political and legislative change, social work professionals are required to navigate the tensions of organisational imperatives, which are highly procedural and metric driven, with brokering more effective relationships with children and their families. Achieving effective partnership working is premised on the development of relational ways of working with children and their families where trust is formed through negotiation and co-creation.

The recent emergence of ‘Fast-track’ approaches to the education of social workers, reflects a shift away from developing skills in critical and analytical reflection, towards an employer led approach, that prioritises the need to produce ‘ready to practice’ social workers. Alongside the changes being introduced to the education and training of social workers, we have also seen revolutionary change in the family justice system, culminating in the Children and Families Act 2014, and the 26 week timeframe for the completion of care cases. These changes can be seen to reflect a political agenda that increasingly equates efficiency with quality.

This paper explores current contradictions within social work practice. Pivotal to the discussion is defining the role of social work within a contemporary English jurisdiction. Adopting deeper relational ways of working with children and their families may help to define the boundaries of a profession that appears to have lost its identity. Rather than facing the prospect that the door is firmly closed on the possibility of reclaiming practice that both prioritises and values professional judgement and discretion, this paper reflects upon some very good examples of relational work with children and their families by social workers within the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: partnership working; relational work; reform; family law
Subjects: L500 Social Work
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 11:18
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 07:50
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/32456

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