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Relationship-based practice with adults - what is it, what does it look like and what are the benefits?

Date: Wednesday, 30 November 2022

Time: 10am-12pm (London, UK) with a ten-minute break

Price: Free

Speakers: Heidi Dix, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, University of Suffolk HEI Social Work Teaching Partnership and Practice Lead and Joint Course Leader for PgC in Social Work Practice Education and Dr Sue Hollinrake, Associate Professor, University of Suffolk


In the first part of this webinar, Dr Sue Hollinrake, in conversation with Rob Mair, will develop an understanding of relationship-based practice and discuss the theoretical roots and core values that underpin it. They will consider the policy and legislative context for it and explain the importance of that, and explore why significant interest in it has grown again.

In the second conversation, Heidi Dix will discuss the IDEAS model; what it is, how it can be used to support effective practice, and how it can help you to evaluate and reflect on your practice and practice you are responsible for.

In the third conversation, Sue Hollinrake will discuss some of the barriers that can present a challenge to relationship-based practice. She will reflect on what can be done to overcome them, as well looking at the opportunities this approach offers using real practice examples and drawing on her own significant experience of working with Adults.

In the final part of the webinar, Rob Mair will put your questions and comments to Sue and Heidi.


Learning outcomes:

  • Gain an understanding of what relationship-based practice is and the opportunities it presents in work with adults
  • Consider the importance of the policy and legislative context
  • Critically reflect on the barriers to relationship-based practice, both in your own work and within the wider team, and understand how to overcome them
  • Develop awareness of the IDEAS model and how it can aid self-evaluation and reflection
  • Build an understanding of the significance of supervision and peer support for this approach
  • Understand how you can help to create the conditions for relationship-based practice in your organisation


Who should attend?

  • Social workers (newly qualified to very experienced)
  • Team managers
  • Service managers
  • Principal social workers
  • Care workers
  • Occupational therapists
  • Health professionals
  • Police officers
  • Probation officers
  • Anyone working with adults in a safeguarding capacity


Meet the speakers


Heidi Dix

Heidi has been a qualified social worker since 1997 and has experience of both adult and children’s services. She has worked in both the statutory and third sector provision and since 2007 has worked as a manager in a Youth Justice Service (YJS) (part-time) where she Leads quality assurance and practice development.

Heidi is also a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Suffolk where she teaches part-time. Her interests and publications include social work practice learning and relational, trauma-informed practice.

Dr Sue Hollinrake

Sue is an Associate Professor who currently teaches part-time on the BA (Hons) Social Work Programme within the School of Social Sciences and Humanities. Sue worked as a social worker and then manager for many years in local authority social services departments. Following this, Sue moved into professional education as a senior lecturer in Social Work at Suffolk College. She led the BA Social Work Degree Programme at the University of Suffolk (formerly UCS) from 2010 to 2017 and became Associate Professor in 2015. Her specialist areas are in social work with adults and ethical approaches to practice. She has published in this area and has undertaken research projects and has a number of publications on social work-related topics.

Front cover of Relationship-based Social Work With AdultsFURTHER READING

Relationship-based Social Work with Adults

Heidi Dix and Sue Hollinrake are the editors of Relationship-based Social Work with Adults, along with Jennifer Meade. The book is available on CareKnowledge in digital format for members with access to The Bookshelf to read in full.

Don't yet have access? To find out how CareKnowledge can help support professional development in your organisation, contact Debbie Tate by phone on 07826 870287, or by email at