In October 2015, the Western Health & Social Care Trust in partnership with the Social Work team in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work delivered a satellite AFT and NISCC accredited Foundation programme in Systemic Practice and Family Therapy in Derry/Londonderry to frontline social workers in Gateway services, Family Intervention Teams, Family Centres and Adult Safeguarding.
This pilot initiative was part of the Trust’s overall strategy to invest in workforce skill development to deliver and expand their innovative Safety in Partnership model. This systemic approach to child protection aims to improve social work assessment and work collaboratively with families and other professionals to improve shared decision making and safety planning. This is an exciting time for the Trust which has also developed other early intervention social work initiatives, including a family therapy service for children and families.
Nineteen social workers completed the Foundation programme, successfully achieving their Consolidation Award in Social Work.
One participant noted ‘The Systemic Practice Foundation course enabled me to engage more meaningfully with the whole family and their network encountering difficulties, rather than solely with the child, young person or adult deemed to have ‘the problem’. This ‘relationship’ focus enables me to provide a more caring and preventative service and gain a more thorough assessment. Using this approach has enabled my Social work practice at Gateway to be stimulating, energising and fun’.
Queen’s are delighted to be part of these pioneering social work developments. For further information on all systemic practice and family therapy programmes at Queen's University, visit the Course Finder.