Many working in the public and voluntary sectors long to help children, young people and families as soon as a problem occurs, before they move into crisis, and are frustrated by the silos which prevent us serving them in the way we want. We need to find a new, holistic and inter-agency way of working to offer children and families the service they need.
It’s important that we listen to families more and find ways of responding as a system, not just an individual agency, and to customise our services and responses to meet each individual’s needs. Across Surrey, we are working with organisations on a mission to create major systems change, to break down operating silos across the sector and to transform multi-agency delivery.
Since 2015, multiple agencies in the Plymouth area have been developing some new ways of working, building on an approach called Appreciative Inquiry (AI). Using the AI approach, they have successfully addresses many of the issues experienced by the sector to achieve system change. We believe that the Plymouth’s methods could be extremely beneficial in Surrey and we are keen to support implementation here.
With financial support from Jamma International, Surrey Youth Focus organised a number of masterclasses for professionals in late 2020 to learn more about this approach. These were delivered by Gary Wallace, Former Director for Public Health Plymouth. Since then, we have continued to roll out further sessions based on Gary’s material in order to reach more professionals and build momentum for the approach.