Improving children’s social care staff wellbeing through reflexive peer group supervision and critical incident debrief

Southampton Children and Families Social Care

This project is under way, and will run until January 2020.

  • Project led by Southampton Children and Families Social Care, in partnership with Southampton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
  • Aiming to improve staff wellbeing, recruitment and retention.
  • Will introduce access to a regular, contained, safe space to reflect on the social and emotional impact of their work with clients, and a debrief service for helping staff to deal with the impact of traumatic events. 

There are significant difficulties in staff recruitment and retention in social care services. Research suggests this can be due to staff not feeling adequately supported or valued.

When staff wellbeing is not prioritised, there is an increasing possibility of staff burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma, which impacts negatively on staff wellbeing and the quality of the service delivered to clients. 

Understanding and normalising emotional, behavioural, physical and cognitive symptoms and access to social support are significant factors associated with reducing the risk of trauma responses. This project will implement a new pathway of staff support for those dealing with complex cases and high levels of trauma. 

Reflexive peer group supervision will be available for all staff in children’s social care. There will be around 22 groups, across the teams in the service, with between six to eight people, and a maximum of 12. The groups will meet regularly every six weeks.

The sessions will be facilitated by professionals with therapeutic experience, who are not associated with the management of the teams. The sessions will provide a safe space to reflect on the social and emotional impact of staff members’ work with clients who have complex needs.

Critical incident debriefs will also be available, which will ensure all staff have a space to process significant traumatic events in a safe, evidence-based manner. This will help to normalise emotional responses, broaden social support and identify coping strategies.

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Dr Emma Selwood, Clinical Psychologist, Southampton Children and Families Social Care.

About this programme

Programme

Innovating for Improvement

This programme supports up to 23 projects with up to £75,000 to test and develop innovative ideas and approaches, put them in...

You might also like...

Blog

Health funding – finally something we can agree on

How would the UK public prefer additional funds for health and social care to be raised? Jon Sussex explores the findings fro...

Working paper

Public acceptability of health and social care funding options

This paper explores the preferences of the general public with regard to the various ways of raising the additional funds nee...

Research report

A critical moment

Our third annual report analysing the staff profile and trends in the NHS workforce in England in 2018

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q Community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more