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Our social work offer

How do we work with our children, young people and their families and carers?

We use the Signs of Safety framework alongside systemic practice. This strengths-based approach puts the families we work with at the centre of all we do and ensures the voice of the child is at the heart of everything.

AfC is a fully accredited licensed company to train and support staff within the Signs of Safety model.

"Hi, my name's Ellie. Signs of Safety is a strengths-based model. I really like Signs of Safety because it helps us to work with families in a way that works on their own existing strengths and the safety that they are already providing to their children. Signs of Safety is a community-based model, so it helps us work with schools, health, all of our different partners, in a way to get the best outcomes for children. For me, I believe that children should always stay with their families and their networks wherever possible, and this approach really supports us to be able to do that. So my favourite thing about Signs of Safety is how we work with children. For me, every child should understand why we're involved, what our worries are, and what we're trying to do to support them.

In Signs of Safety, we use lots of words and pictures, and lots of other tools to really talk to children so they really get what we're doing and how we're trying to support them to feel safe in the homes and the communities that they live in. So AfC has a really large training offer. We have nine two-day foundation courses that run over the year, alongside lunchtime workshops that just help to really embed all of the different parts of the learning of the model. Across Achieving for Children, we have dedicated practice leaders. These sit within all of the teams. The practice leaders regularly come together for their own supervision and development, but within their teams, they really embed good learning and practise with others. This really allows you as a social worker or an early health practitioner to be able to really slow down, think, and reflect within a multidisciplinary team.

Achieving for Children is committed to Signs of Safety, and if you're committed to working with families, then Achieving for Children will be committed to you."


“The Signs of Safety approach is a relationship-grounded, safety-organised approach to child protection practice, created by researching what works for professionals and families in building meaningful safety for vulnerable and at-risk children." (Signs of Safety website)


"What do you love most about working at Achieving for Children?

Having a good manager and at the moment I f eel like if I have a problem I can share anything with her and even more senior to be honest, I think senior leadership are quite accessible and if you've got a problem you can get around it. 

I'm probably quite attached with some of the families I work with and I do like to see the kids I work with, I've just come off a home visit where we were discussing some of the funniest things kids do and I just think you can't write the things you're gonna hear when you come to work.

What gives you a sense of belonging at work?

Like immediate level, like your colleagues, there's a sense of belonging within a team, then I suppose higher than that, there's something about when you've got a problem at work, for me it's actually about being able to problem solve with those people around me, management included and I feel like my views are heard. So, yeah, as a social worker I'm able to present what my worries really are. 

Share a time when you experience great collaboration at work

We have a weekly group supervision within our team, we all take turns in presenting a case, a couple of months ago I presented a family I felt like I was banging my head against a brick wall with a little bit, actually sitting with my colleagues and mapping out my situation with this family brought new perspective and new ideas.

Can you tell us more about the range of cases you work on?

So, we support children with severe and profound disabilities and we work with a real range of families. We work with some families where they only need a social worker as they need a respite package for their child and equally we work with other families where they have so many things going on and adding in a complex disability really compounds some of those issues so, I work with a full range really, from child in need all the way through to looked after child.

What would you say to agency staff who are thinking of switching to permanent social work?

I would say they should just make the switch, I think it's such a good local authority to work for. I have been here nearly 8 years and I don't see myself moving on anytime soon really.

What three things would you say about the culture at Achieving for Children?

They're quite outside the box, very creative and willing to learn. I think we just go with the times, like there's never a week that goes by that's not stuff coming out on email about different research, Black History Month and there's so many things you can just drop into and I just think there's always ways for us as practitioners to develop."


We provide a range of benefits to our social workers and social worker leaders in recognition of their commitment to the role.

I come into the office every day because I love the kind of team environment in the office. It's very collaborative. It's very supportive, which is very important for social workers, but it's also quite fun as well and we kind of share all the good things all that things that worry us and difficulties in the job, but also the positives

Belonging is when for instance, I'm not in the office then, you know, you get your colleagues reach out to you to say what you're up to today. How you doing? There's always someone looking out for you when when you kind of need that support.

Main points of collaboration is when we we do a weekly sessions with what we call Families First. There'd be eight to 10, 15 people or gathering in a room for two or three hours where social workers can bring their cases bring our dilemmas and we can also work on what's working well and share those experiences.

So there is definitely a good breadth good variation. So some are complex. Some aren't very

complex and the managers are they conscious to make sure that we always have a very very caseload so we can in a sense takes a lot of positives from our work that we do also acknowledge the harder cases.

The senior management team is very accessible primarily because I can see them in the office. They come around and talk to us. But we also take interest in our cases. But also I find it's very useful to me that it's not just about the work, the case. They're also there just to talk about how things are going for you generally and how you’re progressing with your social work career. 

For me the most important thing about support is I can go to my peer’s my manager, the team leaders, people independent from my day-to-day life, even in terms of the team and take those unknowns, those challenges and sort of break them down and learn from others. And that's the great thing. 

We have a great breadth of experience within the team. I best support other social workers with bringing my experience cases when they have conversations about what they're doing then it's like well, this is something that I experience for. So there's a lot of collaboration and sharing support.

So the three words that I've used to describe AfC for me are caring, family, fun.


Select which area you are interested in to see what’s on offer:

Kingston and Richmond

Windsor and Maidenhead