The Serious Violence Duty will require local authorities, the police, fire and rescue authorities, specified criminal justice agencies and health authorities to work together to formulate an evidence based analysis of the problems associated with serious violence in a local area, and then produce and implement a strategy detailing how they will respond to those particular issues. Prisons, youth custody agencies and educational authorities may also need to work with these core partners.
2. How are we going to do it?
We want to reduce violent crime and address the root causes of serious violence across England and Wales by making sure that public bodies work together to stop serious violence.
As a result of this duty the police, local authorities, fire and rescue authorities, and specified health and criminal justice agencies will have to work together to identify and publish what actions they need to take collectively to reduce violent crime, including domestic abuse and sexual offences. Educational authorities, prisons and youth custody agencies may also be required to work with those bodies as a result of this duty. The legislation grants these authorities the power to share data and information with each other for the purpose of preventing and reducing serious violence. We will encourage authorities to place an emphasis on early intervention with young people in order to prevent them from becoming either a victim or perpetrator of serious violence in the first place.
Local areas can be flexible in deciding the geographical extent of their partnership and local areas will be encouraged to use existing multi-agency partnerships where possible. Some partnerships already work well in tackling serious violence and the Home Office wants to build on this good practice so that it is more consistent across England and Wales.
By ensuring that all of these authorities work together in this way, strategies can be put in place to effectively prevent and reduce serious violence and make communities safer.
The increase in serious violence since 2014 proves that more needs to be done to prevent and reduce serious violence. While some partnerships work well, in others there are performance or capability issues. There are many reasons for this including competing priorities, strength of relationships between public agencies, and not enough data and intelligence sharing.
This is not just a policing issue. To be successful in dealing with this threat, all relevant agencies need to focus on and be held accountable for preventing and reducing serious violence in their local area, targeting activity to the people and places most at risk. The new duty is key to achieving this.
Work on the duty has been ongoing since Spring 2019, and consisted of:
1 April – 28 May 2019 – the Government consultation on a Public Health Duty for tackling serious violence.
15 July 2019 – the Government [response] to the consultation published.
19 December 2019 – Government announcement in the Queen’s Speech that a new duty would be brought forward for public sector bodies to address serious violence.
October – December 2020 – Engagement with key stakeholders on the legislation.
The consultation showed that there was clear support for taking a multi-agency approach to prevent and reduce serious violence. We have taken into consideration the points raised by those who responded to the consultation when developing the policy for the Serious Violence Duty.
4. Frequently asked questions
4.1 Why do we need this new duty?
The duty ensures that serious violence is made a focus within existing multi-agency arrangements, such as multi-agency safeguarding arrangements or Community Safety Partnerships, and allow for collaboration between a much wider set of partners. This duty also introduces a requirement for local partnerships to establish their local problem profile and produce a local strategy specifically aimed at preventing and reducing serious violence.
4.2 Will individuals (e.g. nurses, teachers) be required to report on serious violence issues as a result of this duty?
The new duty is not aimed at individual teachers, nurses, social workers or other frontline professionals. Instead, it is intended to encourage authorities and partners to plan, share data, intelligence and knowledge, to generate an evidence based analysis of the problem and a response strategy with bespoke local solutions.
4.3 Will there be further funding to support this new duty?
The government is investing £130 million in 2022/23 to drive down the most devastating types of crime – including knife crime, gun crime and homicide.
This funding package includes:
supporting the implementation of the new Serious Violence Duty and Serious Violence Reduction Orders, being brought into law via the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill
an additional £64 million for Violence Reduction Units, supporting the existing 18 and enabling two new units to be established in Cleveland and Humberside
an additional £30 million into the ‘Grip’ police enforcement programme
We are also providing £200m over 10 years for the Youth Endowment Fund, to test and evaluate what works to ensure those young people most at risk are given the opportunity to turn away from violence and lead positive lives.
4.4 How will this new duty work with Violence Reduction Units?
Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) bring together community leaders and other key partners with police, local government, health and education professionals to identify the drivers of serious violence and develop a response to them. VRUs will ensure there is effective planning and collaboration to support a longer term approach to preventing violence.
The new duty will complement and assist the VRUs in their aim of preventing and reducing serious violence, by providing a strategic platform with the right regulatory conditions to support successful delivery of this multi-agency approach, including through the extended set of partners on whom the duty will fall.
If you’re a parent or guardian of minors, you’re aware of the many digital dangers your kids face. Maybe you’ve heard other parents mention that they use parental controls or Internet filters to control what their kids do with their devices, but you’re not sure how to start looking for software for your family.
I’ll share with you the criteria to look for when choosing parental control and Internet filtering software
When kids have their own devices, especially those with Internet access, there’s a good chance they’ll try to use them in ways that are against your wishes, or are outright dangerous. Here are just a few of the challenges you face:
Your kids may visit websites that contain malware that could harm their device and even other connected devices.
Your kids may access illegal content, such as pirated music and movies, and illegal forms of porn.
Your kids may communicate with people who mean them harm, such as cyber bullies and Internet predators.
Your kids may use apps you don’t approve of.
Your kids may view websites, images, videos, and other content you don’t approve of.
Your kids may send and receive messages you don’t approve of, such as sexual or hateful messages.
Your kids may spend more time using their devices than you want them to.
Your kids may use their devices without your supervision, whether at home or outside it.
The parental controls built into devices and apps may not limit your kids as much as you’d like.
How To Choose Parental Control and Internet Filtering Software
Parental control and Internet filtering software can help. Parental controls refer to software that allows a parent to control what their child can do with a device which may include limiting screen time, disallowing apps, or filtering content. Internet filtering refers to disallowing access to particular websites, images, videos, and other content.
Parental controls is a broad term that encompasses various controls, one of which is Internet filtering.
There’s a wide variety of parental control and Internet filtering software, so you may feel overwhelmed when you start looking for options. I’d like to make your search easier by telling you what criteria to look for. Here are 16 questions to ask about the software you’re considering:
1. What devices does it work with?
Make sure the software works with the devices you intend to use it on. For the sake of simplicity, it’s best to use the same parental control software for as many devices as you can. So, consider all the devices your kids use, and what operating system (OS) they run.
Major operating systems (Windows, macOS, iOS, Android) have parental controls built-in, though they don’t provide as many features as third-party parental control software. But, native parental controls can operate at a deeper level, and third-party software may be limited by the operating system, at present or in the future.
One thing to keep in mind when choosing devices for your kids: iOS, the OS on iPhones, is more secure and private than Android, but Apple limits what third-party parental controls and Internet filters can do. So, depending on the parental control features you want, and the software you choose, you may want to consider Android devices for your kids.
2. What apps can it monitor or control?
Parental control software differs in which apps they’re able to monitor or control. Pay attention to the list, and ensure the ones you care about are included.
Pay special attention to social media, messaging, and dating apps.
If you want to monitor or control calls and messages, think beyond regular phone calls and text messaging; kids often use third-party apps for calls and messaging (e.g. WhatsApp).
3. Will it work outside my home network?
For a desktop computer or a laptop that rarely leaves your home, parental control software that works only when the device is connected to your home network may be fine, but for any mobile devices that are used outside your home, you’ll want software that will work outside your home network.
For example, OpenDNS provides free or paid web filtering, but it only works on your home network. If you want your kids to be filtered when they’re away from home, or at home but using cellular data rather than your Wi-Fi, you’ll need another solution (instead of, or in addition to, OpenDNS).
4. How granularly can it filter content?
If you want to filter content (websites, message content, etc.), look at how granularly (specifically) it can filter. Some software will block entire websites; others will block webpages within websites; others will block sections within webpages.
There are probably some sites that you don’t want your kids to see any part of, but there are likely other sites that have a lot of content that you’d be fine with them accessing.
The same concept applies to software that filters messages. Do you want the software to block an entire message that contains an objectionable word, or just to block that word?
5. What website categories can be filtered?
If the software filters websites, check the list of categories that can be filtered, to ensure it includes all the categories you want to disallow. A longer list of narrow categories will give you more control than a shorter list of broad categories.
6. How will I monitor my kids’ activity?
If you want the software to monitor your kids’ activity, think about how you want that to work. How quickly do you want to be notified of unapproved behavior? Do you want an immediate alert, or do you just want to review reports from time to time?
7. Does it use a whitelist or a blacklist?
First, a couple of definitions (which you can also find in the Glossary):
Whitelist: A list of approved items. A system that uses a whitelist blocks all items that are not on the whitelist.
Blacklist: A list of disapproved items. A system that uses a blacklist allows all items that are not on the blacklist.
Parental control software may use a whitelist or blacklist to determine what apps can be used. Internet filters may use a whitelist or blacklist to determine which webpages can be accessed.
There are pros and cons to both approaches. Imagine your parental control software uses a blacklist. Say a new inappropriate app comes out, and your kids know about it for a month before the software adds it to its blacklist. Your kids would be able to use it for that month until it’s blacklisted. If the software had used a whitelist, then the app would’ve been blocked.
On the other hand, imagine that your software uses a whitelist. An appropriate app comes out, and your kids are blocked from using it for a month before the software adds it to its whitelist.
Regardless of whether the software uses a whitelist or blacklist, you can see why it’s important that the software provider be frequently updating the list.
8. Does it control screen time? How granularly?
Some parental control software lets you control how much time your kids spend on their devices. Software varies in how granularly you can control the use. On one end of the spectrum is allowing or disallowing a device to be used at all. At the other end of the spectrum is the ability to schedule when certain apps are available, or when the Internet can be accessed.
Make sure the software you choose gives you the controls you want.
9. What browsers does it work with?
If your parental control and Internet filtering software only works with one browser, guess what your kid is going to do? That’s right, use a different browser. Maybe the software will try to prevent that, but it’s better to use software that works with at least all the major browsers.
10. Can it filter HTTPS traffic?
HTTPS creates a secure, encrypted connection between a web browser and a website, to protect transmitted data from eavesdroppers. You’ve seen browsers show web addresses (URLs) starting with https://, and maybe also show a padlock symbol.
Some Internet filtering software can filter HTTPS traffic; others can’t. If it can’t, your kid may be able to get around the filter by using a proxy site. So, it’s better to use software that can filter HTTPS traffic.
11. Can it track my kid’s location?
If you want the ability to remotely track your child’s location, ensure that the software includes that functionality. I recommend researching how the software handles location tracking and sharing, and how it restricts your child’s location info to only you (or authorized users).
12. How will I manage its settings?
See how you manage the software (set restrictions, view reports, etc.). Some give you a mobile app. Others don’t, so you need to use a website or desktop software. Ensure that your software will let you manage it the way you want to.
13. How frequently is it updated?
Because operating systems, apps, and websites are constantly changing, parental controls and Internet filters need to keep up. Ensure that the company updates the software frequently.
14. How easily can my kid get around it?
The world of parental controls and Internet filtering can be a cat-and-mouse game, with your kid trying to find any way around the restrictions. So, you need to be aware of any known ways to get around the software you’re considering.
The company selling the software isn’t likely to tell you this, so you’ll need to search online to find reviews, blog posts, forum posts, etc. Google how to get around [name of software] and how to disable [name of software].
15. How many devices or accounts does it cover?
Parental control and Internet filtering software is licensed in different ways. It can cover one device, multiple devices, or a whole household.
16. What does it cost?
Building on the last point, pay attention to how the software is priced. Is it per device or household? Per month or year? What are the ongoing fees?
Popular Parental Control and Internet Filtering Software
The following parental control and Internet filtering software is frequently mentioned and recommended within the industry, so I’m sharing them with you as a place to start your search.
How to Choose Parental Control and Internet Filtering Software – Final Thoughts
Technology is no substitute for parenting. You can’t rely on software to keep your kids in line. You need to be having conversations with your kids about appropriate and inappropriate behavior online, and the consequences (whether they’re consequences you’ll impose, or are natural consequences of the behavior).
I recommend talking to your kids about the parental controls and filters you put in place. Explain, in terms they can understand, what the software can do. Keep lines of communication open, talking about what they’re experiencing, what you’ve noticed, and what to do about it.
Define what you want parental control and Internet filtering software to do. Start with what you’ve learned in this post. You can refine your requirements list as you learn more about the features of different software.
Look for the software that will work best for you and your kids. Use the 16 questions in this post. Start by looking at the popular software listed above. Take advantage of software demos and trials.
Install and configure the software you selected.
Talk to your kids about the parental controls and filters you put in place. Talk when you put the software in place, as well as regularly after that. Technology is no substitute for parenting.
Regularly evaluate how well the software is working for your family. Adjust the software, and your family’s rules, as necessary.
Net Nanny protects your child against dangerous content and online threats. You can block apps and websites on your child’s device, and get peace of mind with the best parental control software on the market.Check Out Net Nanny
Norton Family helps you supervise your kids’ online activities and protect them against unsuitable content. It helps block inappropriate websites while your kids are surfing the Internet.Check Out Norton Family
Kaspersky Safe Kids gives you an affordable tool to protect your child against online threats. You can also monitor all your child’s devices to block any inappropriate websites.Check Out Kaspersky Safe Kids
Mobicip helps protect your family on the Internet, limit screen time, manage apps, and track your kids’ location/s. You can manage and monitor all family devices from one parent app or dashboard.Check Out Mobicip
Qustodio provides powerful monitoring tools and parental controls for things like screen time, adult content, and games. It gives parents visibility and creates daily opportunities to talk with kids about their online experiences.Check Out Qustodio
By setting up the Circle content Internet Filter feature, parents can easily select the apps, devices, games, streaming services, and websites that need limitations or restrictions. Then, add filters to each family member’s profile accordingly.Learn More About CircleOur Favorite Parental Controls App
Bark lets you proactively monitor your child’s text messages, emails, and social media accounts for potential safety concerns or privacy threats, so you can save time and gain peace of mind. Use code “DEFEND” for $30 off!Check Out Bark
Hundreds of former teachers have signed up with supply agencies following the Education Secretary’s call for them to temporarily return to the profession, data published today (Wednesday 12 January) shows.
Initial data from around ten per cent of supply agencies shows that 485 former teachers have signed up with agencies, with some teachers already placed back in the classroom during the first week of term. A further 100 Teach First alumni have also expressed interest in supporting the workforce.
Given the size of the sample, the actual number of ex-teachers who have signed up is likely to be much larger.
Supply agencies are reporting that the levels of interest they are receiving represent a marked increase in the levels they would otherwise have expected in a normal year.
This comes as millions of children and young people returned to early years settings, schools and colleges last week as the Government continues to prioritise face to face education.
Overall levels of teacher absence are relatively stable compared to the end of last term, however the proportion of staff absent due to COVID-19 is higher than normal as a result of the Omicron variant and is expected to remain a challenge throughout the first weeks of term.
Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said:
Making sure all children and young people can attend school or college remains my number one priority.
I want to thank all former teachers who have come forward to support the national effort and help keep our children in face-to-face education. I call on all other former teachers who are able to do the same to come forward now.
The vaccine continues to help us pave the way out of this pandemic and more than ever it is absolutely vital that all those eligible get their booster or second jab, as well as continuing to test regularly.
Once teachers have signed up with an agency and have completed necessary checks they are able to return to the classroom as soon as an opportunity arises that fits their subject specialism and local need.
The government continues to work closely with the sector to make sure every possible route is being used to keep schools equipped with the teaching staff they need to maintain face-to-face education.
Over a phased return during the first week, all secondary schools were asked to complete one on-site test for pupils to help reduce the transmission of Covid-19 after a period of social mixing. College and university students and all staff were asked to self-test at home before they returned to the classroom.
Proportionate safety measures remain in place in schools, colleges and universities to help reduce the transmission of the virus, including increased ventilation, testing and good hygiene, with older students and staff wearing face coverings in the classroom until the review point on 26 January.
All early years settings, schools, colleges, and universities are advised to continue to follow the latest guidance set out by the department which is kept regularly under review.
City Hall publishes its most detailed analysis yet which lays bare the extent of the link between violence and poverty, deprivation and unemployment
Latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down, with youth violence, knife crime and gun crime also falling
Evidence shows the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of being affected by violence
Sadiq sets out his commitment to provide positive opportunities for young Londoners and to give them hope for a brighter future
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today announced his commitment to support almost 100,000 more young Londoners over the next year, investing in opportunities to help them thrive and to help divert them away from violence.
Today, Sadiq has published new City Hall analysis that reveals the complex factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities that can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting caught up in violence. This includes deep-rooted and ingrained social and economic issues such as poverty, inequality, high unemployment, school exclusions, poor mental health and a lack of youth services.
The new research City Hall released today shows that all 10 of the boroughs with the highest rates of victims of serious violence have higher rates of child poverty than the London average.
The analysis also shines a light on how violence is having a disproportionate impact on young Black Londoners who are significantly overrepresented, both as victims and offenders. For instance, Black teenage boys are six times more likely to be killed by violence than white boys in London.
Delivering a major speech at The Black Prince Community Trust in Lambeth, the Mayor will highlight the worrying impact the pandemic has had on young Londoners.
Research has demonstrated the link between high rates of unemployment and levels of violence, and City Hall analysis reveals the pandemic has exacerbated the factors that put young people at risk of becoming involved in, or a victim of, violence, by pushing more young Londoners into unemployment and poverty. For example, Universal Credit claims have risen by nearly 130 per cent – with the highest increases in the top five boroughs for rates of serious youth violence.
London also has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country as the city has been hit particularly hard by the pandemic and the huge impact on the sectors such as hospitality.
More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019.  Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence.  This is just one of the reasons that the Mayor was clear that a top priority for his second term in office would be ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ for Londoners. Through the Mayor’s schemes he is offering every Londoner who is unemployed or earning under the London living wage the chance to enrol on a course to retrain and help them find employment.
Reducing violence and making London safer is the Mayor’s number one priority. New analysis from City Hall shows that all types of serious violence experienced by young people have fallen over the last four years. Figures show that violence was falling in London before the pandemic, and over the past year knife crime, youth violence and gun crime have come down further. . The research shows that serious crimes such as knife crime resulting in injury is down 36 per cent and under-25 knife crime has reduced 48 per cent, compared to the peak in the twelve months to December 2017. But the Mayor is clear there is much more to do to stop young lives being lost to senseless violence, and to prevent violence from happening in the first place.
Speaking in south London today about the commitment to redouble efforts to reduce violence as London recovers from the pandemic, Sadiq will set out how he will continue to be both tough on crime and tough on the complex causes of crime. This means ensuring the police have the resources they need to bear down on criminality, gangs and the drugs market, as well as the importance of investing in positive opportunities for young Londoners to give them hope for the future.
The Mayor set up London’s Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) – the first in England – to deliver programmes that support young Londoners through education, training and help into employment. Sadiq will today announce that over the course of the next 12 months, City Hall and the VRU will be delivering a combined package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.
On his pledge to empower and invest in the future of young Londoners the Mayor is expected to say:
“Every death as a result of this needless violence is an utter tragedy. It leaves lives destroyed and families grieving, it tears communities apart, fuels fear and deprives our city of so much talent.
“The latest figures show that the overall number of knife crime victims under 25 is down by 39 per cent compared to 2019, and by 31 per cent compared to 2018. Overall, youth violence has been going down. Knife crime has been going down. And gun crime has been going down. The level of violence impacting young Londoners remains far too high and we clearly have a long way to go, but it’s important that we acknowledge signs of progress so that we can learn from what’s starting to work and build upon it.
“My main message today is not one of despair, rather a message of determination that we are redoubling our efforts to reduce violence as we recover from the pandemic.
“A crucial part of the solution is always going to be supporting the police to bear down relentlessly on criminality, which I will continue to do. But we must be both tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime. Because the truth is we know there’s a complex set of factors at play in people’s lives, homes and communities, which can alter the likelihood of someone taking the wrong path and getting involved in violence.
“The vast majority of young Black Londoners are not involved in violence in any way. But young Black Londoners are significantly more likely to be a victim or a perpetrator of serious violence. That’s because it’s not skin colour that determines your chances of being a victim or an offender, but societal and economic factors, such as the disproportionate rates of poverty, unemployment and school exclusions that affect Black lives.
“When I highlight these conditions associated with violence, I’m not excusing criminality in any way. But any sensible society understands that it’s in our own interest to remove the conditions that allow criminality to thrive. To provide positive opportunities for young Londoners who could otherwise be vulnerable to exploitation. To proactively tackle the structural barriers and racial inequality that Black Londoners face – from housing and poverty to education and the workplace. And to give young Londoners hope for a brighter future.
“Surely, we must all want young Londoners to feel like they have a stake in society, rather than feeling so hopeless that they’re willing to stake their lives for so little.
“I’m pleased to announce that next year – over the course of just 12 months – we’ll be stepping up our work with a package of measures that will support almost 100,000 more young Londoners.”
Notes to editors
The new analysis, published by the Greater London Authority’s City Intelligence Unit, looks at the driving factors behind young people becoming involved in or a victim of violence.
This reveals the link between violence and school exclusions, deprivation and poverty, including areas where people are most likely to struggle to access food. In addition, the research highlights the disproportionate impact violence is having on young Black Londoners.
Young Black Londoners are disproportionately represented amongst the victims of all types of serious violence – they are three times more likely than young White Londoners to be a victim of knife crime, and five times more likely to be a victim of homicide.
Rates of offending for the most serious violence, knife crime and homicide were highest for those aged 15-19
Under 25s knife crime (non-DA) down 48% compared to its peak in the twelve months to December 2017
Total knife crime resulting in injury was 36% lower than the peak recorded in twelve months to November 2017
Gun crime was 50% below the peak recorded in twelve months to July 2017
Lethal barrelled gun discharges were 52% lower than the peak recorded in the twelve months to December 2018
Burglary was 34% below the volume recorded in the peak period of twelve months to October 2019
Absence rates from secondary school were also a significant factor in predicting Boroughs with the highest rates of offending relating to serious violence 
London has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the country. More than a fifth of those aged 16-24 are currently unemployed, an increase of two per cent since 2019.  Six of 10 boroughs with the highest increases in unemployment are also in the top 10 boroughs for serious violence. 
During the pandemic, Universal Credit claims have increased by 186 per cent in Brent and 177 per cent in Newham – two of the top five boroughs for rates of offending.
54,000 young people aged 16-24 in London claimed unemployed-related benefits in October 2021 – 7.3 per cent of Londoners in that age group, up from 3.8 per cent in March 2020.
The number of food parcels given out by the Trussell Trust more than doubled in London in 2020/21 – higher than in any other part of the country. Seven of the boroughs with the largest increase were also in the top 10 for serious violence.
Professional supervision is central to effective social work. I think we can all agree on that. It plays an important role in the wider functioning of any children’s social care organisation. It is good to see the government setting out the role of practice supervisors in its knowledge and skills statements: not much to argue with there.
Children’s social work can be highly pressured and, at times, extremely stressful. So, whether you’re a frontline social worker, team manager or working with children in another social care setting, effective supervision helps you to do your job well.
Supervision involves talking through the impact the work has on you personally, as well as exploring decision-making. It is vital for practitioners’ well-being, professional development, and management oversight. Most importantly, supervision helps you to achieve the best possible outcomes for children.
What does good ‘reflective’ supervision look like?
For Ofsted, supervision is an important part of the conversations that inspectors have with frontline workers. Has it benefited an approach to a particular case? Has it helped professional development? Inspectors will always look for evidence of the quality and impact of any supervision.
As ever, there is no particular model that works best. In the areas that do supervision well, we see many components coming together to make sure that it works.
In these places, supervision takes place in an environment and relationship that feel safe, both to the supervisor and the supervisee. It is emotionally supportive, but challenges practitioners to truly reflect on their practice and on the needs of the children and families they are supporting.
Effective supervision relationships allow practitioners to develop personally and professionally through trust, honesty and empathy. When done well, supervision contributes to how staff performance is managed, and includes practice development and teaching and coaching.
Individual supervision can also be enhanced by (but not substituted for) group support and challenge. The right balance has to be struck between recording group and individual supervision.
How supervision ‘feels’ is important
Having been both supervisor and supervisee, I know that how supervision ‘feels’ is important! The following questions are a good guide:
Does the way I am supervised contribute to my job satisfaction and make me want to continue to work for this organisation?
Does it make me feel that my employer cares about me and my practice?
Does it increase my confidence, competence and critical thinking? Does it make me a more effective advocate for children?
Does it help me make better decisions for children? Am I able to change my direction of thinking when that is the right thing to do?
If the answer to these questions is yes, supervision is probably both effective and satisfying to supervisor and supervisee alike. Even more than that, it is likely to have a direct, positive impact on children and families.
Statutory children and family social work is all about managing risks and making good-quality decisions. To do this successfully, information about risks and how they are being managed needs to be shared between social workers and their managers at all levels.
In places that do it well, supervision happens in a dedicated space and time. This is helpful for practitioners because they know when to expect it and can rely on it. It forms a regular outlet to reflect on what has gone well and what has gone less well, and to learn from both.
Do inspectors expect every child’s experiences to be explored at every supervision session? No. Supervision should always be proportionate to risk: prioritising worker’s greatest worries, but over a number of sessions, making space for all children’s experiences to be discussed.
Supervision and case records
Sector colleagues often ask me what Ofsted is looking for on a good supervision record and on a child’s case record. There is, of course, some overlap between the two, and I do not want to suggest a prescriptive approach.
For some practitioners, supervision records will include getting the basics right or compliance with practice standards. For all, it should be an ambitious expectation for the best possible interventions and a place for professional dialogue and debate.
Well-recorded practitioner files will evidence how that person’s professional development has evolved through training, skills development and knowledge, and how they have applied this in their practice with children and families. It will explore responses to stress, personal ‘baggage’ and how these impact on the person’s ability to do their job.
When it comes to a child’s record, this has to serve many audiences – not least a manager’s scrutiny and a future social worker’s ability to pick up that child’s case. Will they understand how decisions were arrived at and the rationale for particular interventions? The decision-making resulting from supervision is clearly relevant here.
Critically, that same record will be used in future years, when the child, now an adult, seeks to understand their childhood and how they came to be brought up as and where they were.
Finally, let’s never lose sight of the context of children’s social work. Children and families have a right to receive help and care from properly qualified and experienced practitioners who are continually developing their practice. Effective supervision is a cornerstone of this development, while the way it is recorded is a means of evidencing that professionalism
In this article I want to reflect on some of the influences and experiences that can impact on young men, that may well trigger feelings of anxiety and depression. I hope to reach out to any young man struggling with their feelings and ways of coping that may not be helping them. To highlight to them that they do not need to be struggling and that it is OK for them to ask for help, and that counselling can be a place where they can start to make changes to their lives.
What is it like being a young man?
Life can feel so much more confusing these days for many of us, yet what is it like to be a young man trying to negotiate your way in the world? What of the pressures to belong and be accepted by your peers, let alone to do well in education, to get all the qualifications you are told you need, have a well-paid job and be in a relationship. Then what of the perception that everybody else is doing well and are living a fun life on social media – yet what is the reality for you? Do you feel you need to show the world you are OK?; that you are coping and that everything you post online says you are fun to be with and are happy? I wonder how easy is it to keep leading this life?
Experiencing anxiety and depression
Then things might start to change; you begin to feel an anxiety that cripples you in social settings. To cope, you choose to use alcohol and perhaps drugs, however, this only seems to work initially then the anxiety returns, and it feels a spiral of lesser returns for more of a need for a chemical fix. You dare not tell your friends that you are feeling anxious, and instead make excuses to not go out socially, for fear of being anxious. Thus the anxiety feels it is getting bigger and has a hold over you. You now feel depressed because you cannot face your friends, and increasingly make excuses not to meet up with them, and stay at home playing video games.
Another scenario could be that you become dependent on alcohol and/or drugs to be able to go out socially. Your need for alcohol and or drugs increases as you try to stop feeling anxious, however, you start to feel depressed, deeply unhappy and short of money. Your friends become increasingly concerned about you; they try to help you, yet get exacerbated by your continued behaviour and then distance themselves from you. You find you are left associating with young men who drink alcohol excessively and/or take more and more drugs.
Do either of these situations sound familiar to you, or someone you might know? While it could feel impossible to change how you live, I want to convey that while it might feel like you are stuck, it is possible to unstick yourself and to change how things are for you.
Is it OK to ask for help?
It may possibly feel this life can be tough to live, and that you should be strong enough to cope, yet I want you to consider how you judge yourself, and whether it is OK for you to ask for help? The first step to change how you feel and behave is through you wanting to help yourself. Then, asking for help would be the first and most important step you can take. Seeing a counsellor could be the best thing you could give yourself; a place where you can start to make sense of how you are feeling and to look at how your behaviour might not be helping you.
Deconstructing myths around masculinity
It can still be true for many men, that to be a man you feel you need to convey your manliness by showing the world you are tough physically and emotionally. Yet building a perfect body doesn’t make you immune to feelings, and you could be hiding how you feel because you fear what others might think of you. Well, let’s burst that balloon of perception; the greatest strength you can show to yourself and the world is that you are not afraid to talk about how you feel. Muscles can with exercise grow, and emotionally, with a willingness you might put into a gym workout, you can too become more emotionally able.
So let us turn this myth around that men need to be strong (and strength means not to show you are upset). Yes, you may have received messages growing up that men should not cry; well let me debunk that and consider it is a strength to show how you feel. To be healthy you need to be able to allow yourself to experience what you feel instead of denying your feelings. None of this is radical stuff, yet somehow old messages stick and possibly, how you might have experienced your own father’s behaviour could still be an influence – even if you have said to yourself many times; “I am going to be my own man”.
Wanting to change feelings and behaviours
Entering into a counsellor’s room could mean you are ready to consider your behaviour is no longer helping you, and are prepared to look at making changes. Then in some aspects, you are halfway to helping yourself, yet there is work to be done; and it does not have to be as hard as you might have imagined. Behind the anxiety you have felt, could be issues around how you have learnt to cope, and how you might have felt about yourself; but actually, sharing all this with a counsellor could feel like a personal liberation. It might not be rocket science to learn that if you do not reinforce feelings of anxiety through your behaviour, and instead start to face what is making you feel anxious, then your feelings of anxiety will begin to dissipate. And it could feel like a science you were not aware of before. You will need to continue not to fear your feelings and to stop avoiding situations that have made you feel anxious. With the help of your counsellor, you could learn how you can live more freely without feeling your anxiety has become you. Through all this work on helping yourself, you might surprise yourself and start to feel you actually like yourself.
This adage is as true now as it ever was; that a problem shared is a problem halved, so please do not suffer your feelings of anxiety and depression alone, there is help out there if you are prepared to ask for it.
We can all make an individual pledge to #TakeAStand from 3pm today to Monday 11.59 3rd May a social media blackout to make a stand against discrimination in all forms!! So, when you hear discrimination or see it online make a point to #TakeAStand and call it out or report it.https://www.kickitout.org/
Young people have been one of the worst affected groups by the events of 2020.
This crisis has hit our older generations hard, but behind the stats and figures we see at daily press conferences are some findings which tell of the difficulties in building the future and entering the new normal: the effect this is going to have on young people.
Nearly 6 in every 10 young people say they are now unsure about what the future looks like for them Young people are three times more likely than older generations to report a heightened strain on their mental healthOur ‘Take the Temperature’ report platforms the voices of nearly 2000 young people: presenting how 2020 has affected their lives and what they’re doing to combat such upheaval.
Their insights, stories and innovations can inform your work and help you to respond directly to young people’s needs. Download the full report for free here:
Keep up to date with what is going on at Youth Unity
The contents of this website are copyrighted to Youth Unity CIC (c) any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. Registered CIC Number 11843189
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.