Child-centred case recording

Iriss has developed an ongoing relationship with a group of passionate practitioners in Falkirk Children's Services who are taking a fresh approach to making change in their work. We first heard about the Falkirk Child-Centered Case Recording group when we put out a call for partners to work with our writing analysis course. The Child Centred Case recording group formed in 2022, making a commitment to supporting Falkirk’s children and families social work staff to write all case notes as if they were writing to their young people.

This work was prompted by listening to the Falkirk Champs, a group of young people whose purpose it is to give young care experienced people a platform to express their voice and create better opportunities for other young people in care. Falkirk and the Young Champs want to see a change in culture across practitioners and managers that supports writing in a style directly to young people, and a change in systems that will embed child-centred case recording in practice. They also want to see a change in practice that will allow young people to understand notes written about them.

“In Falkirk we have just begun what we hope will be a transformational journey in changing how we write and speak about and on behalf of children and families to ensure that it is child-centred. One of the quandaries we have is how we record our analysis in a way that captures strengths and risks but also remains honest, respectful and easily understood by the child and family.”

The group's approach fits well with the different ways that Iriss is interested in ‘doing’ innovation to embed dignity into the day-to-day of anyone using Scotlands’ social services. Rather than overhauling the systems and starting from scratch, we are using a strengths-based approach that takes a ‘gardening’ style intervention. Planting seeds of change, tending to them, and creating the conditions for them to flourish and continue to create opportunity for reflection. Through experimenting with a number of tests of change, the staff are changing their practice piece-by-piece and therefore influencing the rest of their service by inspiring them with examples of how things could be different.

The Iriss role within this project is to offer an external support, facilitation and guidance, and a systems change expertise.

Child Centred Case Recording

Changing practice, systems and culture in Falkirk

For the last year we have been working with a group of passionate practitioners taking a fresh approach to making change. The Child Centred Case Recording (CCCR) group formed in 2022. They got together to support Falkirk’s children and families social work staff to write all case notes to their young people by 2027. It's our one-year anniversary of meeting as a group.