Seaspace offers generic and bespoke training for social care organisations. We are happy to talk to local authorities; independent agencies and the voluntary sector about providing training that fits with the needs of their workforce. We can develop bespoke training for social work and social care staff and managers with organisations linked to the way training needs and CPD has been identified.
Seaspace has specialist courses, here are some examples:

Seaspace Consultancy Ltd

Child Development (0 to 18 years) - 2 day training


  • Gain understanding of key developmental milestonesages and stages of child development and transitions. 
  • Explore the importance of attachment and play 
  • Consider the impact of parental health and well-being on child development 
  • Gain some knowledge of brain development in infants and children and the influence / impact of relationships and environmental factors 
  • Gain some understanding of the impact of neglect on child and young person development 
  • Consider the influence of the environment on child development – poverty, culture, religion, school, peers and the media  

This training includes neuro development during pre and postnatal periods of development and includes knowledge about the importance of attachment and play.

Introduction to Child Observation - 1 day training

One day training to introduce social workers; foster carers and allied professionals working with children and families to child observation methods and skills focusing on pre-school children.

  • Develop knowledge of theoretical perspectives informing child observation 
  • Gain understanding of why child observation is important 
  • Enable participants to conceive the nature of the child’s experience 
  • Provides opportunity to re-focus on child development and the world of the child 
  • Be introduced to a model of observation and reflect on experience 
  • Gain understanding of the impact of subjectivity on assessment and reflect on impact of engaging in observation 
  • Have opportunity to reflect on how the child maybe experiencing the world and the impact of the environment 
  • Explore the use of observation as a method and have experience of recording 
  • Consider the use of recording as part of evidence gathering and links to child and family assessment 
  • To have awareness of how social, cultural factors are considered in child observation 

It is a requirement for NQSW’s to gain skills in effectively using child observation. Local authorities commission this training as part of the NQSW training programme. Seaspace has been providing this training for Birmingham Children’s Trust for NWSQ’s from 2018 and this is planned until 2020. Dorset Council have commissioned the one-day training for family resource workers, social workers and foster carers, and also, the longer 6-month child observation training. 

Department of Education Knowledge and Skills Statements for Children and Families social workers at newly qualified level-
No 6. Child and Family Assessment 

  • Carry out in depth assessment of social need and risk to children with particular emphasis on parental capacity and capability to change. Effectively using child observation skills; genogram; ecomaps; chronologies and evidence-based tools; and ensuring active child and family participation in the process and knowing the contributions other professional disciplines make to social work assessments 
  • Recognise behaviours, which may indicate disguised compliance, resistance to change, ambivalent or selective cooperation with services, and be able to recognise the need for immediate action, and what steps can be taken to protect children ‘ 

Seaspace provides participants the opportunity to gain an understanding of why child observations skills are important and how this links to assessing and planning for children. Participants gain insight into the world of the child; have opportunity to observe young children using video and films; practice undertaking some basic recording during the day. The focus is to apply the learning to practice.

Child Observation Skills training - Over a 6 month period

This consists of:

  • A half day Introductory event to provide underpinning knowledge and to enable participants to prepare for setting up their child observations.
  • Participants undertake a minimum of 6 observations of a child in a pre-school setting -The child is not known to them or any social care agency
  • Participants record their observations
  • Attend 6 seminars where they will present recordings of observations, discuss and reflect on them
  • A half day evaluation event
  • Written reflection focusing on learning and application to practice

Reflective Practice groups: (RPG’s)

Seaspace developed and delivered reflective practice groups for a local authority which had recognised that they weren’t performing well. The local authority had a vision of using relationship-based practice working with users of the service and understood that this required a whole system change to implement more open and responsive social work practice. This whole system change was supported by the Centre for Social Work Practice. As part of this process, Seaspace developed and delivered a model of RPG’s working with of heads of services; pod and team mangers and lead practitioners. Regular RPG groups were held over the course of a year.

See article in BASW’s Professional Social Work magazine (May 2019, p. 22-23) - focus is on the importance of relationship-based practice and how a local authority undertook a whole system change. Fiona worked with Brighton and Hove to introduce and deliver a model of reflective practice groups on behalf of the Centre for Social Work Practice for a year in the early stages of the whole system change. The RGPs were part of providing organisational, management and practitioner containment for the ‘felt aspect of the work’. View Article

"For CSWP Fiona McKinnon delivered a complex and intensive programme of reflective practice groups for a local authority Children’s Service Department over the course of a year. Feedback from many levels of the organisation was extremely positive and referred to Fiona’s level of skill, sensitivity, professionalism, creativity and resilience in undertaking this work. She has a strong commitment to a value base of transparency, inclusion, honesty and reflexivity, and was altogether a very professional and stimulating colleague with whom to work. The programme of work she undertook was evaluated by a professional researcher and the evidence indicated strong development on a variety of levels for the practitioners and managers with whom she engaged. The client organisation was very happy with her work, and CSWP would certainly employ her again." Professor Andrew Cooper Centre for Social Work Practice