Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship based approaches in social work


Promoting systemic thinking, and therapeutic and relationship-based approaches in Social Work

Creating Opportunities for Reflection and Expansive Learning in Multi-agency Care Networks


Wednesday 1st June 2022


Online (via Zoom)


9:30am - 1pm




Stephen Mills

A workshop for social workers and supervising social workers working with care networks around children and adults.

This workshop identifies ways professionals can Create Opportunities for Reflection and Expansive Learning in Multi-agency Care Networks and provides practical tools for :

  • unpacking assumptions
  • noticing how language does more than merely describe
    slowing processes down
  • developing awareness of how assemblages of ideas move care networks in certain directions
  • noticing how child-adult relations are constructed and reconstructed
  • creating safe conversational spaces
  • emphasising opportunities for listening attentively
  • enhancing curiosity
  • generating openness

Dr Stephen Mills is a systemic family psychotherapist and has worked with multi-agency professional care networks around children for over 7 years. His doctoral thesis (2021) focused on children in care and how to create opportunities for reflective relational practice and expansive learning within their multi-agency care networks.
He will use creative examples based on his own clinical experience to illustrate the use of these tools in practice.

The benefits of this approach for care networks are

  • a lessening of anxiety for individual network members
  • enhanced communication across the network
  • greater understanding of differing agendas within the network
  • an increased capacity for effective individual and collective thinking
  • an increased ability to attune to self, colleagues, and the child/client
  • and an increased capacity to tolerate uncertainty and engage in relational practices
  • opportunities for expansive learning within care networks

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Workshops, Conferences & Other Events

What would you like to attend?

We are eager to offer a full calendar of online and in-person workshops, conferences, lectures and discussion groups.  We are really keen to hear from people who have something to share with our audience.  We would like to hear from you about ideas for an event.

Do you know someone who might like to present to a GAPS audience? Is that you?


Writing for the GAPS Website

Do you have an idea for a short article you could write for GAPS?  We warmly invite those involved in social work practice and educators to think about what they would like to say to an audience with an interest in systemic thinking and therapeutic and relationship-based social work practice.

Our aim is to bridge the gap between practice and academic writing whilst opening up spaces for contemplation and stimulating discussion.

We encourage practitioners, educators and researchers to propose articles of 1,000 words or more for publication on this site and for discussion among our community.

We offer an authors' fee of £400 per article.