New framework to crystallize our practice

In November 2018, Paul Nixon commenced a 12 month contract as Lead Practitioner at Baptist Care SA. His task is to write a framework that captures, organises and articulates how, why and what we do at Baptist Care SA.


But how will the framework impact staff and Baptist Care SA as a whole?


Put simply, it will guide how we behave as staff, make expectations clear and give us language to explain our practice. It will clearly show our clients and other agencies how we work, and most importantly – why we work this way.


But what is the value of this?


Not only does this offer more transparency to our clients and other agencies, but if we have a clear outline of what we’re doing and why, we can act more deliberately, effectively and with greater purpose.


Most importantly, if staff are more purposeful in what we do (because we understand why we are doing it) this means better outcomes for clients.


The framework will also embed quality assurance methods to assist us to continuously collect feedback on our service.


Baptist Care SA’s approach will be described by focusing on these key areas:

  • Relational and Restorative – this is about how we work with our peers, clients and external stakeholders
  • Strengths based – that we work to enhance the self-governance and self-determination of our clients
  • Culturally Responsive – the way we practice honours, reflects and enhances the cultural connections and identity of our clients
  • Whole Families – we don’t work with children in isolation, they are to be seen in connection to their family networks and the relationships that are important to them


“My vision is that Baptist Care SA becomes renowned for the quality of our practice with families and children,” says Paul. “People remember the way you make them feel and treat them. We need to do this really well. This matters.”


To build the framework, Paul has been talking to Baptist Care SA staff about their current practice. If you would like to speak to Paul and share your experiences please contact him at [email protected]


Paul Nixon is a father of three who has almost thirty years of experience as a social worker. Born in Wales, he was previously Head of Social Work for North Yorkshire County Council and the Chief Social Worker, Oranga Tamariki – Ministry for Children, New Zealand. He has published several books and articles on kinship care, empowering practice and family conferences and has delivered training, consultancy and evaluations around the world. He continues to consult in the UK, Canada, NZ and Australia.

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Baptist Care SA, lives, works and walks on Kaurna, Permangk and Boandik lands. We acknowledge Aboriginal people as the state’s first peoples, recognise their traditional ownership, and respect their cultural heritage, beliefs, deep connection and continued guardianship of land and waters. We value the contributions of Elders past and present, and are committed to learning from those emerging.