Village Hive Social Work

Social Worker Roles

Village-based Social Workers, Senior Social Workers, and Social Work Interns are integral members of CCT’s Village Hive model of child protection.

The social workers in CCT’s Village Hive use a strengths-based, family-driven approach to casework, based on the principle that families are the experts in their own lives.

They promote self-determination by partnering with families to cultivate a lasting network of support. Families are assisted in developing realistic and sustainable plans to overcome the challenges in their lives and ensure the ongoing safety and wellbeing of their children.

Village-Based Social Workers (VBSWs)

VBSWs are community members who are upskilled with competency-based social work training. VBSWs work with low-risk cases and provide basic interventions for families in their village. They also assist Senior Social Worker with high-risk and complex cases in their village, facilitate the Community Network and the community support groups, workshops and trainings. VBSWs work in pairs to liaise closely with local authorities, services and schools.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and referring children and families at risk
  • Facilitating birth certificates, family book, poor ID card
  • Assisting families to build a Family Network
  • Identifying the services in the communities that can be used in case planning
  • Participating in family conference case planning with Senior Social Workers, local authorities, families, the Family Network
  • Conducting home visits to follow up on case plans
  • Facilitating the monthly Community Network meetings in their village
  • Participating in group/peer/individual supervision

Senior Social Workers (SSWs)

SSWs have a degree in social work or equivalent practical experience. SSWs work with high-risk cases and manage crisis interventions involving severe abuse, neglect, family violence or mental health issues. They provide training, management and supervision to Village-Based Social Workers and Interns. They work closely with the Services Network and Local Authorities to build tailored case plans with families.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and referring children and families at risk.
  • Facilitating home visits, case plans, and family networks with local authorities and VBSWs.
  • Managing 24/7 crisis interventions with local authorities.
  • Providing counselling services to children, youth and families.
  • Cooperating with Medical Services team to conduct home visits and to provide health care services
  • Cooperating with Family Finance team to improve financial literacy and increase income generation
  • Supporting and monitoring the social work practice of the VBSWs & Interns via social work supervision
  • Providing training to VBSWs and Interns, monitoring their case plans, and providing guidance on support groups and Community Network activities
  • Provide training, supervision, counselling and oversight to Foster Care Families.
  • Participating in peer and group supervision

Social Work Interns

SWIs are undertaking competency-based social work training with CCT. They co-manage low-risk cases with their supervisors for the purposes of training.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and referring children and families at risk.
  • Participating trainings provided by CCT.
  • Participating in group and individual supervision as the supervisees

The Approach

Realtionship-based practice

Relationships are the bedrock of human change and growth. Constructive working relationships between CCT social workers, family members, children, and local authorities is key to effective practice.

CCT Social workers don’t do things “to” families or “for” families. Instead, they partner “with” families, children and local authorities to co-create plans and set goals. 

CCT Social workers spend time getting to know children and families. They conduct home visits to meet with the families often, listen to them, build trust and show acceptance. They learn about the family’s history, show empathy and seek to understand the difficulties and trauma that families have experienced. By building strong relationships, CCT social workers, families and local authorities work together to ensure children’s safety, stability and healthy development.

Appreciative inquiry & strengths-based practice

Appreciative inquiry is an approach used in the Signs of Safety three-column framework that seeks to engage families in self-determined change.

Social workers lead families, children and local authorities through a questioning process to map the intervention plan.

The process focuses on four domains of inquiry:

  1. First column: What are we worried about? (identifying past harm, complicating factors, and worries about future danger)
  2. Second column: What is already working well? (identifying existing strengths in the family and behaviours that have kept children safe and well)
  3. Third column: What needs to happen? (to ensure future safety and wellbeing)
  4. Scaling question: Where are we on a scale of 0 to 10 where ten means there is enough safety to close the case and zero means it is certain that the child will be harmed.

By assisting families to think through problems and come up with their own solutions, CCT social workers empower families to meet the challenges in their lives and meet their children’s needs independently. 

Child-focused practice

CCT’s case management is child-focused, which means that CCT social workers are concerned with the needs and best interests of the child, above everything else. Case plans are always focused on what is best for the child’s future. To achieve this, the views, experiences and wishes of the child is integral to the process. It is important that children understand why social workers are intervening in their lives and are given agency to shape their own support plans.

CCT Social Workers use a range of tools to privilege children’s voices when developing safety and empowerment plans with families. The tools serve as practical ways for social workers to:

  • identify the people who are part of the child’s safety and support network.
  • explores what worries children have, what is good in their lives and what would they like to see happen.
  • explain to a child what has happened to them, what people are worried about and what people are doing about these worries.
  • find out what safety means to them, and what needs to happen to make them feel safe and keep safe.

Training

In addition to coaching in the field, social work interns and village-based social workers are trained on topics such as social work values and ethics, awareness of judgment and stereotyping, building trust with children/families, appreciative Inquiry, Signs of Safety, active listening skills, empathetic skills, reflective skills, genograms, building Family Networks, cocreating process, ecological mapping, child development, child protection, indentifying vulnerability, trauma-informed care, positive parenting skills, violence against children, case management processes, CCT’s case management framework, integrating government case management forms, supervision.

Supervision

Supervision is an essential part of reflective practice and an integral part of social work. Supervision provides social workers with the opportunity to evaluate, discuss intentions and develop innovative solutions.

CCT’s Social Workers participate in the following supervision:

  • Group Supervision: social workers gather together in groups of approx 12-15 to undertake group supervision, which helps to build their capacity in CCT’s social work approach by learning from one another.
  • Peer Supervision: in peer supervision, a set of questions are formulated for social workers to evaluate the progress of their case work. It helps social workers to identify positive developments in families, the actions they’ve taken with families to accomplish the case plan goals and the areas they need to focus on.
  • Individual Supervision: is conducted by line management between the social work team leaders and senior social workers, and between senior social workers and village-based social workers/interns. Individual supervision maximises positive working relationships and provides important personalised support to all social workers in CCT’s Village Hive.
Download our Supervision Evaluation Summary