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Adventurous Social Work?

Author: Tim Keilty

This work in Scotland was the result of some fantastic work in Middlesbrough, testing out how we could use the ideas, values and principles of self-directed support to return Looked After Children home to their families, where this was safe to do so.

In essence, the work was trying to explore what matters to children, how families could be supported and how the thousands of pounds of tax payers money spent on residential out of area placements could be spent in a way that suits people and their unique circumstances.

The Middlesbrough work tested out how a no nonsense approach to personal budgets, a creative and flexible workforce and some good person centred planning could lead to better outcomes for children, families and stretched budgets.

The Returning Project, as it was known in Middlesbrough, was a relatively small scale project running for about 5 years - we learned that over the period the average cost of a ‘placement’ £96,000 per year and the average cost of a plan to return or maintain a child at home was just over £6,000. There were enough stories of successful outcomes for young people and families to convince us we were on the right track.

All we were really doing was asking some good questions, listening properly then responding appropriately.

  • Who are you?
  • What are the great things you do and what are your struggles?
  • How could we build on your personal capacities (gifts) and the strength in your immediate and wider family?
  • What would knock the edges off the stress and the struggle?
  • How could we be most helpful?
  • How can we build trust and keep you in control?
  • What would it take to make all of the above happen?

The work continues in Scotland - adventurously.

Read and download the free pdf in your browser here.


The publisher is In Control Scotland.

Adventurous Social Work © Tim Keilty 2020.

All Rights Reserved. No part of this paper may be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher except for the quotation of brief passages in reviews.

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