Theme 4: Strengths-based practice can only be delivered consistently in a working environment which is fundamentally designed with this approach in mind, and by ensuring practitioners feel supported, empowered and challenged.

In any social care team, there needs to be a range of people with the skills and awareness to work with individuals in the way that best suits their needs. The person whose needs are being met, and their aspirations and requirements, should be put at the heart of the service being delivered. Individuals should be supported to co-develop their own care and support plan. However, this does not always mean that the individual will know best. The skill of any professional is to be able to listen to what an individual wants for their care but also, where appropriate, help them to aspire to achieve more than they may have previously felt able to do. 

Key findings:

  • Optimised services which consistently deliver good quality, strengths-based practice, do so by carefully designing every aspect of the environment that practitioners work within.
  • Practitioners working within optimised services share a common set of beliefs and values, role-modelled and communicated by passionate leaders.
  • Consistent practice is digitally enabled, with the right information and data made available to practitioners in the right format, at the right time.
  • Consistent ways of working have a clear focus on achieving independent outcomes. The support of colleagues and managers promotes positive risk-taking, avoiding practitioners feeling isolated in decision-making. 

Performance is measured using carefully designed KPIs, which balance both the timeliness of interventions and the quality of the outcome.