Ruth Bennett

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Having qualified with a B.A Hons Economics, M.A Political Development and a B.A Hons and M.A in Social Work I have worked as a Children and Families Advanced Practioner and Team Manager for sixteen years. Throughout my social work practice strength and relationship based social work have remained central with Family Group Conferences being a key feature; from facilitating FGCs as an accredited Coordinator to managing an 'in house' local authority Service in Bury MBC as well as the FGC Service in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) where FGCs were 'commissioned out'.
Whilst working in RBKC I developed the role of the FGC Lead to support social workers and FGC Providers to maximise the effectiveness of FGCs emphasising their near statutory status, as part of the 2008 Public Law Outline and revised PLO timescales 2013. In practice I have also emphasised the essential role of FGCs in identifying Family and Friends as Carers and reducing the number of children entering Care as well reducing the number of Care Proceedings. I have also audited FGC Services, conducted Service evaluations and tracked the long term outcomes of FGCs as well as providing the Expert role for the establishment and management of the London Tri borough FGC Service. Of particular interest to my professional practice is ensuring families and children, including extended families, have an equal number of opportunities to present their own solutions to the challenges they face especially whilst working cross culturally and across languages.