We asked children, young people, families and carers to provide feedback on what was important for us as professionals to consider when working with them. We heard that how we communicate impacts relationships in the following ways:    

  • Arriving late without letting us know = “you don’t care about us” 
  • Checking the time frequently = “you don’t want to be here” 
  • Bringing lots of paperwork with you = “you haven’t taken the time to learn about our story” 
  • Making notes or highlighting while we talk = “your paperwork is more important than spending time with us” 
  • Asking lots and lots of questions = “you do not trust what we are telling you” 

In response to this, and other feedback gathered, we have produced six principles that detail our ways of working. They describe how we will restoratively work with children, young people and families who may need help and support from Children Services in Torbay.  

These principles are based on the notion that our staff:  

  • care about what they do and are passionate about achieving the best for children and families living in Torbay 
  • employ their professional judgement and expertise  
  • have a strong value base displaying care, compassion, openness, and respect  
  • want to work in collaboration with children, young people, parents and carers, and other professionals to achieve the right outcomes  
  • are natural advocates, who think, act, and empower others  
  • understand their responsibility to meet Social Work England Standards to ensure children, young people and families receive an effective service  
  • reflect, adapt, and change their practice when required  
  • strive to be the best and bring out the best in others. 

These principles are designed to give clear guidance to all Children’s Services staff, including senior leaders, and managers in respect of their roles and responsibilities as professionals. If we are not working with you in these ways, then our practice needs to improve. 

For further support, or to give feedback, please contact our Learning and Development department on: learning&developmenthub@torbay.gov.uk