So far so good for What Works Centre, says advisory council

Jo Davidson
Research Centre Manager

12 October 2018

The Centre’s advisory council met this week to hear how the Centre is progressing. Council member Jo Davidson reports

A privilege of holding a senior leadership position is that occasionally you are approached to join advisory groups. This is flattering, of course. Sometimes you do have something to offer. You need though to watch that it doesn’t become a distraction from your important priorities.

So, with that in mind, I joined the first meeting of the Advisory Council for the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care with interest and a degree of scepticism. Would this be a case of looking round the room and seeing that the WWC is just going through the motions? Or would it be a case that this would be involvement in something that was genuinely exploratory, thoughtful and focussed on improving things for children and families? Something which helped everyone involved as well as helping the What Works Centre in its endeavour?

I guess the fact that I’m writing this blog for them shows that it was the latter rather than the former. I also think that from my first experience, the openness to constructive challenge was such that they’d publish a critical blog too.

It’s early days for the WWC, but from my experience at the Council, they are working very hard on collaborating with networks of people from different and disparate vantage points, who are united in wanting to help strengthen practice and impact.

There are very many views about ‘what works’ and many fashions in social work. Some children live in very complex and complicated circumstances which tests communities and people in services alike. Trying to establish an approach which helps make better sense of what works, must be a good thing.
So far so good, WWC – I’m pleased to be part of this.

Jo Davidson is Principal at The Staff College and member of the Advisory Council for the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care