Certificate in Systemic Social Work Practice with Children and Families - Intermediate Level (Year 2)

15-day intermediate systemic practice course

Course outline

Day 1

Overarching ideas and ethical systemic practice

An introduction to Year 2, reviewing the development of key ideas and approaches in systemic practice.

Setting out clear expectations and ground rules.  Understanding the difference between Year 1 and Year 2.

Develop an understanding of Burnham’s model of AMT and the Domains model (by Lang et al.)  to help develop a coherent systemic practice within a local authority organisational context to support the ethical management of risk, while attending to ideas of power and difference.

Day 2

Developing relational interventions from systemic hypotheses and formulations

Understand how to develop systemic hypotheses and formulations. What is a hypothesis and what is a formulation?

Development of systemic hypotheses which include as much of the family and the practitioner to form the basis for ethical interventions and reflexive practices.

Developing awareness of the approach, method and techniques used and the theory of change within the intervention i.e. first and second order change.

Thinking about power and difference in context to your role and position within a LA risk managing setting.

Day 3

Theories of change informing intervention approach

Develop an understanding of the different theories of change within different systemic models and how interventions are used to create change in patterns and relationships in order to reduce risk.

Understanding the place and role of first and second order approaches within children’s social care contexts.

Learning how to use first order thinking within a second order approach, by taking a meta-position to the situations that we are triangulated into as a service or practitioner.

Day 4

Looking at the Social GGGRRAACCCEEESSS with the lens of intersectionality

Understanding the importance of the historical and developmental context and wider social discourses when attending to issues of power and difference.

Understanding the concept of intersectionality and the multiple visible and invisible discourses that are in every interaction between practitioner and family.

Learning how to explore issues of power and difference, attending to privilege and/or discrimination within families, society and organisations.

Practising the process of understanding and witnessing people’s vulnerability and resilience within the intersectionality of their discourses in which they are embodied and embedded.

Day 5

Isomorphic patterns: the family mirroring the recursive socially constructed organisation

Developing an understanding of isomorphism and how this can be used to help practitioners take a meta-position to their work with families and the organisation they work in. 

Develop new perspectives and techniques in order to reflect upon contextual issues within a practitioner’s organisation and how this positions them in multiple ways with competing affordances and constraints.

Practitioners developing an ability to use clinical supervision as a way of supporting and developing their systemic practice.

Practitioners taking a critical lens to their supervision using isomorphism and positioning theory.

Day 6

Revisiting the Post Milan Approach and Tomm’s Interventive Interviewing

Developing a solid understanding of the Post Milan Approach: (hypothesizing, circularity and curiosity) using Karl Tomm’s Interventive Interviewing.

Understanding how to use the Milan systemic interviewing techniques in our work with families to develop greater self and relational reflexivity.

Understanding how the Milan systemic interviewing techniques can support our assessment and management of risk.

Day 7

Social Constructionism, patterns and meaning Making

Revisit our understanding of Social Constructionism and the role of language in creating a reality.

Practitioners develop an understanding of the issues using post-modern Social Constructionist ideas in a modernist organisational context.

Using Tomm’s Ipscope model to look at interactional patterns between people (both in families and in organisations) and using this to contribute to an ongoing assessment and intervention.

Day 8

Using CMM to support systemic social work

Understanding how to use CMM within the children’s social care context.

Understanding the development of Social Constructionism and how language constructs realities.

Develop an understanding of the range of models within CMM including: the hierarchical model, the LUUUUT and serpentine models.

To use CMM as a method of exploration and intervention to create change in practice.

Day 9

Course review day

Students to review their learning and take part in an interactive process, in order to identify gaps in their theory and learning.

Students to attend one to one tutorial, to reflect and think about learning.

Students to share their systemic supervision log to date.

Day 10

Using creativity in systemic social work

Understanding how creative techniques can be used in our work to develop relationships in which communication can be constructed through verbal/non-verbal mediums.

Importance of understanding preferred learning and communication styles in order to be more collaborative and effect greater change.

Developing more confidence using long standing creative clinical practices and systemic techniques with harder to reach families within children’s social care.

Day 11

Revisiting narrative approaches in systemic social work

Understanding how narrative ideas can be used with families and organisations to support the development of multiple perspectives including the supervisory context.

Developing self and relational reflexivity by understanding how narratives and discourses hold a certain power and influence over our stories lived and stories told.

Using narrative approaches to challenge the dominant and privileged discourse.

Helping practitioners to see stories of resilience and strength in families to support the management of risk.

Understanding the ‘Internalised Other’ interviewing technique and how this can be used to support a systemic intervention.

Day 12

What research is out there?

Practitioners to develop an overview of the key pieces of research within systemic practice and social work in order to develop more meaningful interventions to manage risk.

Develop skills in reading and critiquing research in order to support practice.

Understanding the difference between evidence based practice and practice based evidence.

Day 13

Managing risk

Understanding how to view issues of risk within a systemic frame, thinking about how risk plays a function within the system, using systemic models, concepts and supervision to support assessment and management of risk.

Developing greater confidence in approaching and intervening with families to address complex issues of risk, holding to a commitment to keep families together.

Practitioners to develop a both/and approach in considering both systemic interventions as well as traditional legal/statutory first order responses.

Develop self and relational reflexivity using the Social GGGRRAACCCEEESSS thinking about the relationship between the local authority and family and how this may influence the assessment and management of risk.

Day 14

Managing power within the domain of aesthetics

Practitioners to consider the concept of power from a systemic epistemology and to understand the affordances and constraints of differing positions.

Practitioners to examine their own ideas of power in relation to their work in a hierarchical organisation whilst developing the ability to keep in mind the wider social context including other agencies and acts of oppression (both current and historical).

Practitioners to develop self-reflexivity in how they manage their power (actual or perceived) and how this relates to issues of shame and blame.

Day 15

The ethical positioning of endings

Students to explore their relationship to endings and how this might influence their practice when working with children and families.

Understanding the dilemmas and process of ending involvement and how this is influenced by organisational and ethical positioning within a children’s social care context.

Developing confidence in using various systemic models and concepts to support ethical decision making around endings.