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Training and resources for professionals

Progress against the Workforce Plan 2018-19

We set ourselves a number of priorities and aims in our Workforce Plan 2018-19. This is the progress we’ve made against those targets.

Multi-agency induction


  • Develop a core offer which establishes a firm foundation for multi-agency working. It will deliver a set of consistent messages across the partnership to all new staff and volunteers about the way we work, that we are confident about how we share information and that we celebrate strengths and good practice
  • The core offer must be flexible but delivered early in take-up of job role
  • Early briefing available to all staff and volunteers could be developed as a standard package which can be delivered single or multi-agency
  • Creating networks of support, to improve relationships and reduce barriers, may include face to face meetings or work shadowing activities or attendance at key meetings

Progress made:

  • Multi-agency induction was explored, but design uncovered other opportunities. The role of the Early Help Locality Partnership’s, Early Help Forums and Triage processes has taken forward many of the principles outlined here
  • This remains under review considering the Children and Young Peoples Plan launch September 2019
  • Engagement with the workforce in the cascade of the priorities and the annual refresh for Summer 2020 will highlight where multi-agency induction may still be of benefit



  • Group 3 staff (who regularly work with vulnerable children or their parents) should have formal and regular child protection supervision from the outset of their employment which enables them to be clear about their roles and responsibilities and the objectives they need to meet
  • Supervision is arranged and conducted in such a way as to permit proper reflection and discussion, acknowledging good practice and achievement and promoting evidence-based practice
  • Supervision will demonstrate a challenge of assumption and fixed thinking while promoting equality and diversity
  • Supervision should be supportive and offer the individual worker the opportunity to offload and obtain support when coping with difficult situations and volumes of work and through recognising issues which might affect the ability to cope with the work
  • To consider: National decision model – Problem solving model can add the strengths as well as the risks, Appreciative Inquiry, Positive framework – strengths based model, Tony Morrison’s KOLB MODEL supervision training/tools, Cycle of Change, Insight into supervision/accessing reflective supervision for staff, Tony Morrison

Progress made:

  • Not all organisations offer their workers and volunteers supervision and even amongst those that do there is a variation in purpose, methods, time allowed etc. This was confirmed by the research carried out by the workforce development supervision working group during 2018
  • The group proposed some solutions which could be introduced as part of the strategy, in addition to the one to one supervision already used by several organisations:
    • Professional conversations – using a common reflective conversation framework
    • Practitioner forums – a model of reflective supervision used in a group
    • Easy access points into services – formalise/format our consultations with each other
    • Meetings – following a set agenda of reflective and analytical decision making
    • Conferences
    • All staff CP training for staff to offer models that support reflective practice
  • Recent staff questionnaires have shown that the use of supervision to support practice continues to need further support
  • A Practice Model will be introduced which includes Restorative Practice and using motivational interviewing as one of a range of tools (December 2019) Restorative Supervision will be rolled out to managers ahead of the practice model
  • Appreciative Inquiry will be introduced as part of a wider skill set

Strengths based working


  • Strengths-based approaches concentrate on the inherent strengths of individuals, families, communities, groups and organisations, deploying personal strengths to aid recovery, change, empowerment and resilience. The model balances a rigorous exploration of danger/harm alongside indicators of strengths and safety but is strongly focused on harnessing, developing and targeting those positive areas far more intensively and deliberately
  • The model depends upon a collaborative approach in which families receive a strong and explicit message that we will try to develop a trusting and positive working relationship with them. We will help them identify their own strengths and resources and be crystal clear about what we are worried about and what we need to do together to bring about positive change. Parents, families and children must be central to and not a passive recipient of each stage of assessment and planning

Progress made:

  • A strengths-based conference model will continue to be used for Initial Child Protection Conferences, Core Groups and Review Child Protection Conferences
  • Further training and Continuing Professional Development will be developed by the Social Work Academy if analysis shows it is required
  • The roll-out of new conference model and next steps in terms of embedding the strengths-based model in Devon is expected Winter 2019

Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Strategy


  • Ensure frontline staff are able to identify and respond appropriately and effectively to individuals who are experiencing violence, those who are perpetrating violence and children who are witnessing violence
  • Education settings across Devon are able to provide an environment and support for safe disclosure of witnessing or experiencing DSVA and appropriate support and referral
  • Move to whole family assessment and integrated multi-agency support with single point of contact
  • Review evidence and practicability of building a DSVA-aware and trauma sensitive system across Devon services

Progress made:

  • Core offer training has been reviewed and updated with Child Sexual Abuse and Domestic Violence sub-group. Joint delivery with the Adult Safeguarding Board is being explored
  • Trauma Informed Practice Training – The Frontline Briefing about trauma-informed approaches with young people provides a summary of relevant research about traumatic experiences, how we can support young people who have experienced trauma and how we can develop as practitioners to do this work
  • Review of progress against the strategy is underway autumn 2019 with recommendations for future workforce development for 2020 to be set out

If you are concerned that a child is being abused please call

0345 155 1071

or email

Professionals should complete the MASH contact form.

If it’s an emergency call 999