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Introduction to Systemic Principles

Event/course Code SFVSS 19/231
Event/course type Training course
Event Introduction Systemic principles have been influential in contemporary social work practice in a number of local authorities nationally. The London Borough of Hackney developed the ‘Reclaiming Social Work’ model, which has resulted in risk assessment and management utilising reflective clinical supervision (Pendry, 2012).

These approaches are not limited to social work practice alone and have uses within a number of other disciplines, including education and mental health services. Multiple ways of understanding enables the ability to develop different ideas of knowing, resulting in greater solutions.

AfC values lend themselves nicely to systemic principles as they focus on putting children and young people first; being resourceful adaptable and dependable; embracing diversity and championing inclusion; nurturing strong, responsive and caring relationships whilst supporting staff to deliver innovative and quality services in order to deliver the most effective solutions.
Event Content This course will look at key systemic principles, drawing upon theory and techniques. The focus of the course will be to explain what these principles are and how they can be used as a framework for understanding and orienteering interventions.

Participants will be able to learn a number of principles and develop techniques that are informed by these principles. The ability to practice techniques will enable a practical application of these techniques, enabling a direct link to the work context. The course is open to all professionals who work with children, young people and their families. The course will enable participants to:
• Understand the impact of context on presenting issues.
• Understand the importance of maintaining curiosity when working with complex issues, holding onto hope when families and professionals can find this a challenge.
• Understand the importance of how our personal and professional contexts shape how we engage with families and professional systems.
• Opportunities to practice systemic interventions.

This session will be delivered by members of AfC’s Emotional Health Service:

Sonia Kalia, MSc, BA (Hons), is an Emotional Health Service Specialist/Clinician. In this position she is a registered Family and Systemic Psychotherapist with UKCP and based in the West Cluster Safeguarding Service. She works directly with children, young people and families; also, facilitates regular supervision groups, family therapy clinics and offers clinical consultations to social work colleagues. She is a registered Social Worker with the UK HCPC and with over 15 years practice experience in child protection and safeguarding services. Sonia also tutors on the MSc Family and Systemic Psychotherapy course at the Institute of Family Therapy.

Nana Bonsu BSc (Hons), MA and MSc is the Lead Systemic Psychotherapist for AfC within the safeguarding service. Nana has clinical governance for this service and supervises family and systemic psychotherapists and an art psychotherapist. Nana is dual qualified, a social worker for seventeen years and is HCPC registered. Nana is also a qualified family and systemic psychotherapist and systemic supervisor, UKCP registered. Nana's roles have all been within a social care and a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) context. Nana trained as a functional family therapist in 2013, an evidence based intervention targeted at adolescents with a diagnosis of conduct and oppositional defiant disorder and their families. Nana was also a clinical specialist co-located in a multi-disciplinary team aimed at families on the edge of care using principles of multi-systemic therapy. Nana was a teaching consultant at Goldsmiths University on the BA and MA social work degree.

Emma Sales MSc, BSC (Hons), is a UKCP registered Family and Systemic psychotherapist based within the Youth Resilience Service. She works directly with children, young people and families; and facilitates regular supervision groups, family therapy clinics and offers clinical consultations to youth Resilience colleagues.
Emma's roles have all been within youth offending, child and adolescent and adult mental health settings. Emma trained as a Multi- Systemic Therapist, an evidence based intervention targeted at families of adolescents at risk of going into custody or care. She also works in private practice.
Event Learning Outcomes At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

• Analyse and be conversant with eight key systemic principles and apply them to self, families and organisational context.
• Demonstrate confidence in applying systemic techniques arising from these key principles.
• Identify and apply these principles and techniques to assessments, understanding of risk and developing collaborative plans with children, young people and families.
Trainers Sonia Kalia / Emma Sales
Course categories Practitioner Processes (recording, analysing, reporting)
Age Ranges
0 - 5 yrs No 5 - 7 yrs No 7 - 11 yrs No 11 - 19 yrs No 19 yrs No 
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Event/course costs
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SessionSession DateSession TimeSession VenueMap
Session 1Wednesday 22 January 202009:30 - 16:00King Charles Centre Surbiton, Hollyfield Road, KT5 9AL
Session 2Thursday 23 January 202009:30 - 16:00King Charles Centre Surbiton, Hollyfield Road, KT5 9AL