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Introduction: Social Care Practice Standards

Social Care Practice Standards

A commitment to embedding practice standards will play a vital role in making St Helens Council a child friendly community where children feel safe, where joint working to improve outcomes for the most vulnerable children, will improve, and where compliance is evidenced.

At the heart of this document is a new, restorative philosophy that seeks to work with children, young people and families, building on their strengths to better manage the risks and challenges they face.

Standards are the rules that describe the (minimum) service or practice that can be expected by the service user. Most of them are legally set through government legislation and guidance, or are based on evidence based research. They are mandatory for all workers. These standards are based on our legal responsibilities but set out the high quality expected of our staff through the continuum of need when supporting our families to be safe and achieve to their full potential.

St Helens practice standards are based on four key questions asked by workers prior to and after every decision they make:

  • How does the child feel?
  • What does it feel like living in the family?
  • How is our intervention impacting on improving the child's circumstances?
  • How do we achieve this?

Commitment to supporting and developing Outstanding staff

St Helens recognise that practice standards whilst forming the basis and expectations for staff working with children will not be achieved without;

  • Exceptional leadership driven by passionate managers who strive for every child to be safe, receiving the right support at the right time
  • Organisational commitment to reflective practice and learning

Have workers who are;

  • Passionate about achieving the best for our children and families
  • Employ professional judgment and expertise
  • Have a strong value base displaying care, compassion, and respect
  • Are confident, creative and disciplined
  • Develop themselves, learn from others, and effectively use their knowledge
  • Are natural advocates who think, act, and empower
  • Reflect, adapt, and change
  • Strive to be the best and bring the best out in others

Home Visit online form      Direct Work Support sheet online form


The child's journey


Managers foot print

Case recordings

First home visit

First contact assessment through MASH

Early help

Early Help Assessment Action Plan Review

Family Action Meeting Plan

Child and Family assessment

Child in Need meetings

Strategy meeting


Child Protection conference

Core groups

Working with children subject to Child Protection planning including Statutory visits

The role of the IRO in chairing Child protection conferences

Transfer between teams

Looked after children

Early Permanence


Working with Children in Care, including statutory visits

IRO Practice standards for Looked after children

Adoption assessment

Supporting adoptive placements

Adoption support

Adoption family finding

Non Agency adoption

Relinquished babies

Fostering assessing social worker

Support to foster carers


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