Tips to embed strengths-based practice in adult social care

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University of Birmingham: Strengths-based practice seeks to return social care to its core principles of social justice, respect, and diversity, through changing the relationship between professionals and the people who they support. It moves from a system based on what people cannot do for themselves and how services can meet these deficits to one which starts from what is important to the person and the assets which they and their families already hold.

Whilst there is agreement that strength-based practice is a better and potentially more affordable way to support people and their families, there are many challenges to embedding changes within local systems and processes. This includes social workers and other frontline professionals altering how they work, and in how funding is invested.

Our report, Building on Strong Foundations, was based on a research project which studied three local authorities in England which were highly committed to strengths-based practice (York, Camden, and Birmingham). Each sought to embed this approach throughout their social care system by introducing new services and interventions and through supporting their front-line social care practitioners change their day-to-day work.

Through reflecting on their collective learning and experiences, it has been possible to identify eight “top tips” which can help other local areas who wish to become more strengths-based in how they plan and deliver social care. This animation seen in the video below, displays these insights through creative images which emphasise their relevance and connection.


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