The Strength Based Approach strongly links with the Initial Conversation process and strengths based practice work that is already taking place. This is a model of practice which focuses on helping people to achieve the highest possible level of independence, supporting people in the context of their own families and support networks. The Conversations are not about refusing to provide support to those who really need it – but it is about ensuring that a range of options have been explored where possible.
‘Strengths-based practice is a collaborative process between the person supported by services and those supporting them, allowing them to work together to determine an outcome that draws on the person’s strengths and assets...’
(SCIE, 2014) Care Act 2014: Strengths-based approaches. SCIE, 2015
Lincolnshire County Council introduced the Initial Conversation to support a different type of conversation with people that is person-centred and which builds a picture of each person's individual strengths, and develops a connection between a person and their community. To embed this into practice further we have been working with IMPOWER to develop and run a number of workshops with our staff teams to include Strengths based practice and behavioural influence. In Spring 2021, we ran two workshops for system leaders ‘What's Strong Not What's Wrong - Sharing the progress made in Lincolnshire in developing Strengths Based Approaches’ - across the Health and Care Interface these have been very welcomed.
We have recruited two new Strength Based Practitioner roles, and going forward, we will develop a quality assurance framework, and continue to bring more teams on board with this new approach.
In the video below, Jenny Brereton, Lead Practitioner of the Review team (west areas) in Adult Care, talks about how strength based approaches have improved the way their team supports adults in Lincolnshire.