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Scaling and deepening the Reclaiming Social Work model

Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme Evaluation Report 45

Scaling and Deepening the Reclaiming Social Work Model aimed to embed ‘Reclaiming Social Work’ in 5 very different local authorities (Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, Harrow, Hull and Southwark). Reclaiming Social Work (RSW) is a whole-system reform that aims to deliver systemic practice in children’s services. Key elements include in-depth training, small units with shared cases and group systemic case discussions, clinician support, reduced bureaucracy, devolved decision-making and enhanced administrative support. The overall aims include improving risk assessment and decision-making, providing more effective help and risk management for children and families. Keeping families together, where appropriate, is a fundamental aim of RSW. The Innovation Project (IP) was a partnership between a social enterprise, Morning Lane Associates (MLA), and the 5 local authorities. It consisted of the following elements:

• recruitment and development of 50 consultant social workers (CSWs) to lead small multi-disciplinary teams, known as RSW units
• bureaucracy reduction to streamline administrative processes and forms, freeing up social worker time to work with families
• keeping families together by targeting teenagers on the edge of care through specialist RSW units (known as Keeping Families Together (KFT) units)
• coaching the system to support successful implementation of the 3 preceding strands and to support senior managers to embed RSW effectively