About us

Our offer of support is based around the systemic practice model which underpins the Children’s Social Care offer in Hammersmith and Fulham, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster City Council. Using the systemic approach has enabled increased skill levels and confidence of practitioners and managers and improved outcomes for children, young people and families. This was evidenced by the outcome of the ILACS inspections undertaken in each of these local authorities in September 2019.  

An evaluation of the Focus on Practice programme published in 2020 found: 

“Systemic practice of social work has been shown to positively impact children and families, staff and the organisation as a whole. For families, this positive impact was expressed as a strengthening of family relationships, collaborative working with their social worker and a recognition of and belief in their own ability to effect change.”

Source: Focus on Practice Round 2 evaluation, Evaluation report, September 2020, Kantar: Priya Menon, Sheyi Ogunshakin, Charlotte Saunders; London Economics: Gavan Conlon, Rohit Ladher, Luke Pate; Tilda Goldberg Centre: Amy Lynch, Emily R. Munro, Lisa Bostock.

Our approach to delivering social care has also provided us with the opportunity to design and deliver new approaches to the way we work with children, young people, families, and the community. In addition to our systemic training, we offer advice, guidance and practice examples for organisations interested in developing an Alternative Pathway within child protection processes (including Safeguarding Family Group Conferencing); Early Help and YOT Systemic Assessment Tool, Integrated Working/Family Hubs, Trauma Informed Approaches and Non-Violent Resistance. 

The Centre for Systemic Social Work (CfSSW) promotes systemic practice in social work settings across children’s services. Systemic practice offers a theory of change that is able to engage with the complexity and challenges faced by vulnerable families. This is where child protection and other high-risk situations are a feature. The centre teaches systemic skills development programmes for practitioners, supervisors, and leaders.

We also work with senior leadership groups to facilitate improvement of the practice system.  Building on the expertise of staff, the relational nature of social work and a commitment to reducing bureaucracy and process driven social work, our ambition is to contribute to whole system change through focusing on practice across the sector. 

We will do all that we can to make the experience with us the best that it can be, but of course we welcome any feedback, comments, or discussions that you might like to have with us about any aspect of the Centre for Social Work.

Caroline Pipe
Clinical Director for the Centre for Systemic Social Work