Sandstories has been developed for groups of up to 20 participants, for a full day training event.
Ideally, the participants will be drawn from different agencies, although the training can also be very helpful on a single agency basis.
The theme of child-centred practice will be introduced by the first of the Sandstories visual presentations, which illustrates both the characteristics of a family which is ‘resistant’ to professional intervention and also explores the dynamic between those trying to ‘help’ the family.
Contained within this story are the key lessons learned from Serious Case Reviews in the last 20 years.
“This training had a profound effect on my staff team and brought about a real shift in thinking and attitude towards neglect, particularly because so many staff experienced the course in a short time scale. It really made social workers recognise the serious risks associated with neglect and they made a clear link between neglect and child death. The investment of staff time was well worth it”
Social Work Team Manager
[There is no PowerPoint used in Sandstories training. And it may reassure some that there is no role play either!]
The centrality of the child in this story is demonstrated in a profound way.
Depending on the experience and developmental needs of each group, additional Sandstories will be used to draw participants into the reality of the lived experience of children and young people living in neglectful and stressful families. And it is never assumed that such families are from a specific socio-economic group – it’s too easy to fall into the trap of simply describing “deprived” families.
Some children and young people may experience material and economic advantage and yet still suffer maltreatment and neglect.
Throughout the session, a range of visual tools are used to introduce participants to the “stories” of children and young people who have been the focus of recent Serious Case Reviews – in order that the insights from these reviews can be embedded in the day-to-day practice of those attending the training.
Each of the Sandstories presentations is enriched by a carefully preserved space for thoughtful reflection and discussion, which is sensitively facilitated by Sue. This enables those watching and listening to the Sandstories to discover and extract the insights and learning contained within them.
The various Sandstories presentations are underpinned by published research and academic commentary, on which Sue draws, in addition to her own practice experience.
The combination of the very visual, and often moving, experience of the Sandstories presentations and the background studies which inform them, demonstrates powerfully the value of bringing together different learning styles.