As part of a range of initiatives to be the most child friendly city in Europe, Leeds has introduced a radical change in its response to children in need.
The innovation is a response to the assess, respond/not respond, assess, respond/not respond cycle that irritates families and dispirits practitioners.
This meant changing conditions for practitioners, and altering the relationship between state and family.
Practitioners are given more time to own and find enduring solutions. Families are seen as part of the solution, not the problem.
Training is offered so that practitioners make the most of their time. The shared idea is to restore, to build strong relationships, that challenge as well as support, that inspire families to make positive changes.
The Leeds Practice Model emphasises working with families, building relationships with families, putting the family at the heart of potential solutions, acting early on the development of challenges, having one worker and one plan for each family. Practitioners are supported to be transparent and accountable.