It’s been more than a year now since Sandstories was on the road, spending time with frontline practitioners across the UK and sharing stories about child-centred practice.
As enquiries and commissions have started to come back in, I admit that I have felt some anxiety that the messages within Sandstories might seem out of touch with a post-pandemic world. I have even wondered whether I need to recreate and remodel the core content of the training, so that it would speak to current practice experience.
And then I encountered the recently published 2020 Annual Report of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel:
The Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel is made up of independent experts who review serious child safeguarding cases – when a child dies or suffers serious harm, and abuse or neglect is known or suspected.
The chair of the panel is Annie Hudson and she said this:
“The national Panel focuses on the most serious cases of child abuse and neglect; through this specific lens, we have been able to highlight the urgent need for everyone involved in safeguarding children to address some of the stubborn challenges which have bedevilled much child protection practice.”
These are six themes which the Panel has identified as some of these “stubborn challenges”
- Understanding what the child’s daily life is like.
- Working with families where their engagement is reluctant and sporadic.
- Critical thinking and challenge.
- Responding to changing risk and need.
- Sharing information in a timely and appropriate way.
- Organisational leadership and culture for good outcomes.
So, I’m pleased to say, I’m no longer anxious about the content of Sandstories training!
It’s not out of date.
The six themes identified in the annual report are woven inextricably through Sandstories training sessions, which recognise and respond to the “urgent need” to wrestle with repeating patterns and stubborn challenges.
Sandstories remains passionate about keeping children at the centre of all we do and nothing, not even a global pandemic, will take this focus away.