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Cambridgeshire County Council

Embedding a strengths based approach in customer facing teams

Cambridge County Council were looking to embed a strengths based approach to working with vulnerable people and wanted to equip their Social Care practitioners with the skills to both identify and draw out individual strengths, as well as to understand why the approach works.

The problem

Senior management identified that the Social Care team was in danger of evolving into a crisis-led approach when dealing with families and other service users. As such, they were very keen to change the overall mind set and make sure that everyone had a better understanding of how to work more closely with service users (the customers) and shape practical changes to make a strengths based approach work and be more responsive to people’s needs.

The solution

RoleplayUK worked with Cambridgeshire County Council to develop specific user scenarios and scripts to reflect credible work place scenarios. These were presented to participants using effective forum theatre techniques, and further developed one-to-one with skills Coaches. Participants had the opportunity to play themselves and personally react to the scenarios, receiving immediate constructive feedback on the likely impact of their approach.

The Results

Participants developed a solid understanding of the theory behind Strengths Based Conversations and Approaches. They also gained confidence in being able to identify different types of Strengths and Assets and how to use empowerment tools in strengths based practice; adapting skills appropriately to match their current way of working.

Management were able to clearly identify improvements in confidence of their teams in dealing with their service users and positive steps forward in the care support pathways for vulnerable individuals.

“The course was fantastic and a completely different format to any other training I’ve experienced – it was a refreshing change and helped me to reflect on my own strengths and weaknesses.”

Course Participant.

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