Working strategically goes hand in hand with the activities , support and consultations in the Forum. In order to bring about change and make a real difference to families in Rotherham, we need to first facilitate VOICE and experience.
To enable families to share voice and experience we need to first reduce the anxiety and isolation we often encounter. Through activities, wellbeing services and mutual support, families get the 'head space' to identify the things that are working well for them as well as the blocks they encounter. Our lives are not simply about the services we receive, they are first and foremost about our families and having time to celebrate the day to day victories and achievements thst so many take for granted.
As a forum we identify common priorities from the voice and experience of members and share this in partnership at strategic level, with decision makers and policy makers. We are the ones who experience what works well in service delivery at the 'coal face' and what would make that better.
Solution focussed, appreciative enquiry puts the child / young person at the centre, leading to better outcomes for them. Statutory requirements and legislation exist to uphold and maintain the rights of the chid/young person.
We can choose to 'battle' which would make us feel better for a while but does it serve my child? Our seasoned velvet bulldozers, determined to get the best possible outcome for the child/young person, despite the cost of tongue biting and the 'feel good for a moment' factor of winning a battle with a practitioner, teach us through experience, that working with and alongside services and practitioners our child receives the best possible outcome - sometimes better than expected. This is not to say that the law is not upheld or that we dont challenge when needed,or indeed that we won't experience frustrations, but it does require a culture change from all involved, a different way of working that leads to everyone being empowered, keeping the child at the centre, the very reason we are brought together in the first place.