Study visits abroad have a great impact on the work of most professionals no matter what field they are in, because learning from peers who are trying to tackle the same kind of challenges but in a different setting and against another cultural background is guaranteed to uncover new strategies and solutions.
Last week we welcomed six social workers from our Czech partner city Brno who were keen to see what social work with children and families looks like in Leeds.
In the past, Leeds Children’s Services was judged by Ofsted as underperforming, but since the Child-Friendly Leeds programme first started in 2012, the Service has made great improvements to the point where Leeds City Council is now regularly advising other local councils in the UK and abroad, sharing Leeds’ best practice through the Leeds Relational Practice Centre. A lot of the changes made concern the way we work and so our visitors have experienced a lot of new approaches to working with children and families and models giving the best level of support to colleagues.
“The day showed me, through the lens of International Relations, just how influential Leeds can be as a beacon of good practice to councils across the UK and further afield in their social work.” – Samuel Greet from the University of Leeds on work experience with International Relations
During their two-day visit, our Czech guests learned about the Restorative Practice approach that means we will challenge people to achieve their goals, but always give them the support they need to get there; they have heard about Family Group Conferences that bring together family members and key reference persons of a child with that young person for a moderated discussion regarding the child’s needs; and watching a team meeting of Early Support workers, our guests have seen the Re-Think Formulation model in action that allows social workers to get better support from colleagues and analyse care cases in a more meaningful way.
Other than that, our visitors also learned about Leeds’ Family, Drug and Alcohol Court and the Futures programme and went to visit the New Bewerley Children’s Centre and the New Wortley Community Centre.
If you would like to learn more about the work of Leeds City Council’s Children’s Services that we have shared with the guests from our partner city Brno, have a look here.