Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Changing practice: the possibilities and limits for reshaping social work practice

Laird, Siobhan E.; Morris, Kate; Archard, Philip; Clawson, Rachael


Kate Morris

Philip Archard


Since 2010 the United Kingdom has witnessed a number of initiatives that shift away from reliance on performance management to improve social work with children and families, towards a renewed interest in practice models. This study reports on the evaluation of a local government programme in England to introduce and embed systemic family practice through the roll out of intensive training to social workers and frontline managers. It was anticipated through the programme that child protection social workers would undertake more direct work with families and build more positive relationships, resulting in a fall in the number of child protection plans and children experiencing repeat periods of care. The evaluation adopted a mixed method approach encompassing an online survey of social workers, interviews with team managers and family members, a case audit and statistical analysis of local level metrics. It found limited employment of systemic family practice or improvement due to the programme. Adopting the 7 S framework, this study examines the barriers to and facilitators of successful change and identifies generic considerations for change programmes in child protection social work.


Laird, S. E., Morris, K., Archard, P., & Clawson, R. (2017). Changing practice: the possibilities and limits for reshaping social work practice. Qualitative Social Work,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 10, 2016
Publication Date Jan 9, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 10, 2017
Publicly Available Date Feb 10, 2017
Journal Qualitative Social Work
Print ISSN 1473-3250
Electronic ISSN 1741-3117
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords child protection, evaluation, organisational change, social work
Public URL
Publisher URL


You might also like

Downloadable Citations