When’s the real work going to start?

Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought this, I wonder?

Don’t get me wrong, planning is absolutely essential – we need to ensure we are wise with our time, resources and funds – but can it be that giving ourselves and others permission to connect and build relationships at all levels is just as important? Or, dare I say it, even more so than the energy we often give to governance, strategies and high-level action plans in transforming our complex systems?

Practitioners may be concerned about a child, out of their depth on a particular issue, or want to find different interventions or activities to meet a child’s needs. What is likely to help most in these instances? I think it is knowing who we can contact and connect with – someone who has the complementary skills and knowledge that could open the door to new or different opportunities for that child.

I’m sure I’m not writing something that has not already been read or heard about before. So, then, if that’s the case, and we all agree relationships are absolutely key in our work (forgive me for presuming on your part!), why is it still so hard? This is a challenge to myself as well as one I pose to you. How can we find ways to enable practitioners to have the space and time to connect to colleagues around them? Because surely, in the long term, this can only lead to better outcomes for children and families and more fulfilled practitioners.

One of our key aims at Surrey Youth Focus is helping bring colleagues (from different organisations and different parts of Surrey) together to cultivate a culture that is rooted in building relationships and shared problem-solving.

Who could you reach out to today and connect with? Do you need help knowing who even to reach out to? Then get in touch, we’d love to help you!

– Cate Newnes-Smith

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