Medway is a proactive Children’s Services Authority, with stable and permanent political and professional leadership.

Our delivery of children’s services is informed by our vision of achieving positive change for the families we work with so that children are safe, services are effective, and families feel supported and enabled to care for their children.

We have established small-area based social work teams, known as pods, each with one practice manager and four social workers. These work with children and families, following assessment, throughout their engagement with statutory social work. This service design was created with the intention of minimising the social work changes experienced by children and families.

We have introduced systemic training for social work staff to support the new model. This is informing interaction and relationships with families and is popular with staff. This informs our approach to social work as part of our overall Strengthening Families model.

We have committed ourselves to an improvement programme of Promoting Practice in frontline services based on the principles of relationship and strengths-based approach to Strengthening Families. This is aimed at building stronger, more resilient families that can satisfy care for children and young people.

Supervision and management oversight

Our first-line leaders are known as Practice Managers. We have increased the number of Practice Managers to provide focus on practice – each Practice Manager is responsible for the supervision of four social workers (five in the First Response Service).

Since December 2017, each Practice Manager has also had dedicated administrative support. This investment is intended to secure higher levels of management oversight and support to casework. We expect our first-line leaders to provide robust oversight and management grip on case work so that social workers are fully supported in their practice.