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Systemic Practice

Every Conversation Starts with the Child



Systemic practice seeks to make sense of the world through relationships, focusing on the whole family system rather than individuals. Through a systemic approach, change can be achieved through exploring relationship patterns and understanding how they impact on children.

The City of York has taken the positive decision to adopt systemic practice as its practice model: a training plan is being developed which will see all social workers and their managers in York systemically trained by 2023. 

This training will be also be extended to multi-agency partners to ensure that there is a universal understanding of the principles of systemic practice, a joined up approach, consistent language and management of risk.

Speak Up Systemic Practice Video

Speak Up – York’s Children’s Rights and Advocacy Service  have produced a video designed by care experience young people to explain how social workers use systemic practice when working with children and families. It can be found here.

Head of Quality Assurance, Safeguarding and Principal Social Worker Introduction

I am Dallas Frank and I joined York as the head of Quality Assurance, Safeguarding and Principal Social Worker in November 2019. 


As part of the role, my team of advanced practitioners and I have developed a Principle Social Worker blog which is designed to create discussion about social work, improve practice and engage in debate about how we can work collaboratively with families and with colleagues to achieve improved outcomes.

Since the initial blog in December 2019 the work has developed (hopefully improved) and since the COVID lockdown in March has been delivered to social workers in York every week. 

The blog is a thematic discussion about practice issues and more recently I have been approached to share this with colleagues around specific issues; core groups and systemic practice for example.   However, more recent discussions have identified that the information and debate within the blogs could be of use to a wider audience and I am privileged to be sharing this with you via the children’s safeguarding partnership. 

Please let me know what you think about the content, your views, any suggestions for future content or indeed if you would like to contribute to the development of a blog in the future, please contact Dallas at

Weekly Blogs

Care Leavers Week

Black History Month

Harmful Sexual Behaviour

Trusted Relationships

Being Curious

The Concept of Moral Injury

Look, Say, Sing, Play

Reflective Supervision

County Lines.  There are also useful links within this Blog - Tackling Child Sexual Abuse StrategyCrest Advisory Group - County Lines after COVIDChildren's Commissioner - Keeping Kids Safe, Research in Practice - A sister's experience of County Lines

Circles of Safety

Gender identity and presentation

Chronologies.  This blog also has some accompanying chronology guidance.

The Importance of Connecting

Trusted relationships and Independent Visitors


Permanency and Care Planning

Ten (assessment pitfalls) and how to avoid them

Working with families who may need an interpreter or translation services.  This blog also refers to the Modern Slavery leaflet.

Visiting with a purpose

Recording.  This blog also refers to the Brian poster.

Black History Month


Engaging with Fathers

Contingency Plans

Useful Documents

City of York Council Children’s Social Care Practice Framework

City of York Council Children’s Social Care Practice Framework Leaflet