Facts, Feelings, Findings and Futures

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A foster carer shares his views on using the four-stage reviewing cycle in supervision in Hackney.

We used this model in our latest supervision meeting. We were upset about a looked after children (LAC) review meeting and in addition, didn’t feel the minutes were accurate. Feelings were running high but this model made us focus on the facts first. Every time feelings were boiling over, our supervising social worker, who is also trained as a social pedagogue, made us focus on the facts. This was a good way of cooling things down. We focused on what happened as a way of collecting evidence.

Our supervisor wrote down the key facts relating to the meeting. She then allowed us to focus on the feelings aroused. This section of the reviewing cycle looks at the quality of the experience – how you felt, physically and emotionally. Our supervisor also shared her feelings – she had left the meeting feeling concerned about us. Her honesty was really helpful and made us feel like we weren’t alone or going mad!

We then moved on to the findings. This is more analytical and rational – we looked at the first two stages and tried to think about what else might be going on under the surface of the meeting and why. We came up with hypotheses and tried to see things from different perspectives.

The futures section of the cycle involved applying our learning from this experience and deciding on what action to take. Our supervisor agreed to take forward our complaints and we agreed to have another meeting to try to resolve issues. We also reflected on how we might handle a similar situation in the future.

This model could also be used when conflict happens in the home environment.

You can read more about reviewing cycles at reviewing.co.uk.