What is a learning conversation?

It is a framework for professionals to learn, develop, reflect and review how they are working with a child or young person in order to problem solve together, think differently to support progressing a child’s plan.

It is not supervision, it does not provide a framework for decision making. It focuses on professional continuous development, sharing learning and reflection.

Learning Conversations

Learning conversation framework

There are four stages of a learning conversation. The questions next to each of the stages are prompts that the independent facilitator will ask to support the group to consider, review and reflect.

  • Why we are here (keep focus on child/young person)
  • Each professional to provide an overview of their assessment
  • What are the strengths, concerns, risks and vulnerabilities?
  • What is the child / young person saying?
  • What do the family say?
  • Appropriately challenge and draw on professional curiosity?
  • How has a Trauma Informed approach shaped our understanding?
  • Areas for development identified
  • What else has emerged as a consequence of this discission?
Strategies & Tools
  • What have we learnt from this?
  • What tools have we used / or now need to consider?
  • Has this affected any change?
  • How can we address risk, barriers or concerns?
  • What are the challenges?
  • How can we use Motivational Interviewing skills to progress our support and interventions?
  • What solutions can we identify?
  • Were the outcomes as expected?
  • What is the progress so far?
  • What are the tools telling us?
  • How can we progress this?
  • What are the barriers or challenges?
  • Have the risks / concerns changed?
  • Is the plan SMART? / Does the plan empower and enable change ?
Review & Reflect
  • What worked? /What do we need to do differently?
  • Were the tools and strategies used appropriately?
  • How can Motivational Interviewing and Trauma Informed Practice develop this plan ?
  • What three learning points can we take forward?
  • Summary of assessment from the facilitator
  • Are we progressing towards meeting the child / young person's identifed needs?
  • Are all the risks indentifed and actioned?
  • What difference has this 'Leanring Conversation' made for the child / young person?
(Based on the work of Harri- Augstein & Thomas 1991)

Who will lead it?

A facilitator will lead the learning conversation who is independent from the professionals involved with the family.

What does the independent facilitator do?

  • Create a safe environment
  • Be neutral and enable group members to review and reflect
  • Provide a summary and key learning points

When do they take place?

  • Any point across the continuum of need. For example from, universal plus, partnership plus to statutory social work intervention
  • Used alongside a multi-agency process to support professional problem solving, review and reflection
  • A request to be made as part of an existing multi-agency process and does not replace any multi agency meetings for example, TAF (Team Around the Family), CIN (Child in Need), and statutory social work intervention

Examples of when a learning conversation can be considered:

  • plan is not progressing
  • there are unmet actions
  • change in circumstances
  • when things are going well – to understand and share learning

What are the key benefits of a learning conversation?

Safe learning environment to explore, ask questions, problem solve through drawing on each other’s professional expertise and experience to identify solutions

  • Strengths and solutions focused
  • Consider impact of trauma and MI skills
  • Identify tools and resources

What is my role and how do I prepare?

  • Draw on your own experience and practice with the child and family
  • Consider what has worked well, what needs to progress and identify areas of concern

Are the family involved?

  • Prior to a request being made for a learning conversation, families will be made aware and informed of the purpose
  • The child/family voice will be gained
  • Following a learning conversation any changes to the plan are suggested, this will be shared with the child and family

Making a request for service for a learning conversation

  • Agreement for a learning conversation must be reached as part of an existing multi agency process
  • The lead professional makes the request

Make a request

Information for parents/carers

Here is some key information that can be shared with families about a learning conversation

  • Your views are very important, we want to listen to what you have to say
  • Your views will be shared as part of the learning conversation

What is it?

  • All the people working with you and your family want to make sure they are working in the best way to support you. A learning conversation will help us to understand how we can do this
  • It does not replace any other meetings that are in place for your child(ren)

How will this happen?

The person sharing this information with you will:

  • talk to you about a learning conversation
  • answer any questions you may have
  • ask you about your views
  • tell you when this is happening and what will happen next

Complaint procedure

Concerns or complaints about a learning conversation need to be raised first where appropriate with the independent facilitator. If this is unable to be resolved then concerns will be escalated to the innovation and practice development lead through: PiP.Admin@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk