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Keeping people who use services at the centre

Middle managers in social services make a significant contribution to shaping organisational culture and values. They set an example for staff in the way they lead and manage others, enabling workers to contribute, take initiative and gain new skills and confidence. Keeping people who use services and carers at the centre of planning, designing and delivering care and support is integral to an inclusive and participatory leadership approach.

Middle managers therefore need to be able to:

  • actively promote self-determination, citizenship and autonomy for people who use services, families and carers
  • advocate for the central importance of people who use services regardless of competing organisational pressures and priorities
  • engage with diverse individuals and communities including those who are marginalised or whose needs and expectations may pose challenge
  • recognise and promote the value of people’s active participation in service design and delivery
  • provide opportunity, and support if required, for people who use services, carers and communities to be fully involved as partners and co-producers
  • ensure a sustained commitment to improving outcomes for people who use services, families and carers.

A separate pathway is dedicated to resources aimed at supporting people who use services and their families and carers. Additional resources which will support middle managers to develop their leadership in this area are listed below.

If you can demonstrate what you have learned from this area of the framework and how you have put your learning into practice, you will be able to earn an Open Badge. Find out more here.

Keeping people who use services at the centre resources

  • Leading for Outcomes: This IRISS guide, published in 2010, offers support on how to lead teams in the adoption and implementation of an outcomes-focused approach. It combines knowledge of effective leadership with evidence relating to outcomes and it includes a number of exercises. It is primarily addressed at those working in adult social care but it will also be relevant to those from other disciplines. The guide provides an adaptable framework for training.
  • Leadership for Personalisation:This report (SCIE, 2009) explores personalisation and social inclusion in the context of mental health. It looks at the leadership challenges involved in transforming mental health social care to deliver more personalised support, inclusion and care choices and the implications for the development of leaders and leadership.
  • Personalisation: a rough guide:This is an updated online resource from Social Care Institute for Excellence.
  • Personalisation in mental health: Creating a vision:This 20 page report, published by the charity MIND in 2009 and downloadable in PDF, presents views of personalisation from people who use mental health services.
  • Principles and standards of Citizen Leadership:This report, written by the Changing Lives User and Carer Forum incorporates ‘What is Citizen Leadership’ A Report by the User and Carer Panel of the 21st Century Social Work Review. The report was published by the Scottish Government in 2008.
  • Effectively engaging and involving seldom-heard groups IRISS Insights, no.2:This paper can be downloaded as a PDF document. It talks about under-represented people who use or might potentially use social services and who are less likely to be heard by social service professionals and decision-makers. The paper discusses which groups or individuals might be considered ‘seldom heard’ and refers to research undertaken by a number of organisations that suggests ways to address barriers. Implications for practice are discussed.
  • Outcomes Toolbox:This toolbox of resources and knowledge was created by IRISS on April 2013. It is relevant to an outcomes-focused approach in the social services, including sections on measuring personal outcomes, training materials, how to use data visualisation and making sense of qualitative outcomes data.
  • Imagining the Future: Citizenship and Innovation(Duffy, S. December 2013) is a ‘think piece’: on how innovation in social services can advance citizenship.
  • Talking Points Personal Outcomes Approach: Practical GuideJIT has also published a guide for the outcomes focussed organisation which brings together learning from practice, systems, culture and performance.

Examples from Practice

What Others Say

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Gloria McLoughlin - Scottish Care

"I think we are going to have to work together, going forward in the current climate. It’s going to have to be about collaboration. And it’s going to be about setting old suspicions aside and working together going forward."

University of Stirling et al. (2010) Leading Together, Dundee, SSSC

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Standards for Childhood Practice
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