Reflective Practice

We have used two specific approaches to implement Effective Child Protection into practice.  Firstly, the use of a Practice Mentor to work with practitioners and secondly the increase in our use of Reflective Practice in day-to-day practice.

Reflective practice is the action of stepping back from the doing.  There are three types of reflective practice.  The first is stepping back and reflecting on something that has already happened.  This is ‘reflection on action’ and the most common kind of reflection.  Reflection can also be used to plan ahead for something you will be doing in the future (reflection for action).  The third type is ‘reflection in action.’  This is the skill of being able to step back and reflect in the moment of action, about what is happening to you.

Korthagen (2001) describes reflective practice as the mental process of trying to structure or restructure an experience, a problem or existing knowledge or insights.  

This page includes links to several resources developed by the Effective Child Protection project.  These are:

  • Developing Reflective Practice Models and the Quick Guide to Reflective Practice - a booklet developed by practitioners including some models of reflection they have developed themselves.  Includes a video about the experience of staff developing these models.
  • Reflective Practice in Social Work - a series of videos of a conversation between Siobhan Maclean, an international authority on Reflective Practice and Wendy Roberts, Practice Mentor and Social Work Lecturer.
  • Stages of Reflection is a captivating animation of the three stages of reflection.  In addition to links to the videos, some of the video’s resources can also be downloaded.