Dr Jane Herd Founder CEO of Orb8 was pleased to be asked by Claudia Megele Chair of the PSW Network to contribute to their publication on Relationship-based Social Work Practice for World Social Work Day.
Jane was asked to contribute to a section with many key senior figures in British Social Work to write a 200 word piece on Relationship-based Leadership.
Her response to this challenge is below-
Relationship-based Leadership in Social Work and Social Care
For many years as a campaigner for and practitioner of Relationship-based social work I have been challenged by others, particularly practitioners on the ground that this is no longer possible. They are too busy, they have too many targets to meet. My response is that it is not about what you do but how you do it. Assessment, can be reduced to a list of questions asked and boxes ticked or allow for a relational conversation where you are genuinely interested in the others story, and this process allows you to fill in the questions, hopefully more usefully and in more depth. Similarly, as a Director my organisation requires policies and procedures and standards. However, these tools are used to facilitate understanding of processes, clarify their role and instil in workers a sense of responsibility and agency. It is important to offer freedom to undertake the task, providing space for reflection, education and thought. In this way excellent provision will meet the requirements set by auditors and assessors. It is about not allowing the tail of audit and Managerialism to wag the dog of practice, care, concern and enabling genuine change in people’s lives.
The publication in book format is available free via amazon on various e-formats. It includes a range of writing from leaders, practitioners and children and young people about their thoughts on relationship-based practice in social work.