Promoting therapeutic and relationship-based approaches in social work

Bristol Balloons

Tavistock Policy Seminar presents: Reflective Social Work Practice How it works, how it helps, does it? Connecting Public Policy and Human Relationships

Share this


There is widespread practitioner and organisational interest in the potential of ‘reflective practice’ to improve
performance, staff resilience, and outcomes for social care service users of all kinds. Recently a number of
local authorities have remodelled their services on a ‘relationship based’ approach, with support for reflective
practice groups at the heart of this. But how exactly does reflective practice work, and do we have evidence
for its benefits at organisational and frontline operational level?
In a period of extreme resource pressures might a focus on reflective practice be little more than a sticking
plaster to prop up a workforce that is burning out, or are reflective forums a ‘space of hope’ holding the
promise of a real and effective alternative to the performance driven and survivalist culture that pervades so
many services?
In this seminar speakers who have been at the forefront of researching reflective social work practice,
implementing it in frontline organisational settings, and promoting its development through leadership and
writing will offer concise and informative perspectives on their work. This will be followed by an open and
reflective audience dialogue to which the speakers will respond at the end.

Tom Stibbs, Principal Social Worker, Brighton & Hove Children’s services
Amanda Lees, Researcher, University of Winchester
Sylvia Smith, Independent Consultant and Lecturer, the Tavistock Centre
Anna Harvey, Senior Lecturer, the Tavistock Centre and Independent Consultant
Andrew Cooper, Professor of Social Work, Tavistock Centre and UEL
Frank Lowe, Consultant Social Worker, Tavistock Centre