Consultant Application Process
A model of practice is not sufficient to transform children’s services. For this to occur, the organisation has to change with the practice; it needs to be aligned to the practice. Implementing the Signs of Safety in a child protection organisation requires whole agency commitment and change involving all staff from leadership to field staff.
The role of the Signs of Safety consultant is to work with agency leadership, at all levels, and assist them to integrate leadership, learning (including training, supervision and ongoing development), meaningful measures and organisational alignment (including policy, practice guidance and information recording) so that the Signs of Safety makes a difference for the agency and the families and children it serves (see Organisational Framework Diagram below).
To be successful in becoming a licensed Signs of Safety Consultant, the most important things for the applicant to demonstrate are:
- a sophisticated understanding of all aspects of the Signs of Safety practice model;
- a sophisticated understanding of leadership and organisational implementation generally, and in the child protection context specifically;
- the capacity to work as a child protection organisational consultant, working alongside and guiding agency leaders, at all levels, in implementing Signs of Safety;
- the capacity to reflect on their own consulting work and role, being able to identify both what they are pleased with and proud of, and where they are struggling and feel they can improve.
Part 1: Application form
Please fill out and submit the Consultant Application Form. You will then be sent an invoice for the application fee of $1,000 AUD.
Important: Please do not proceed to the following steps until you have completed Part 1. To ensure that your application process is as smooth as possible, this page is deliberately void of key reference documents required for you to complete the rest of the application. Once we have processed your application form and received payment of your application fee, you will be given a link to a web page that contains the below instructions and the reference documents.
Part 2: Your thinking about Leadership
- Applicant articulates their thinking about organisational leadership
- Applicant demonstrates ability to reflect, analyse and critique their own leadership
Questions (try and respond within two pages)
Please describe what good leadership looks like to you.
- How have Signs of Safety, other key ideas and people influenced your thinking about organisational leadership?
- When you have seen good leadership in child protection, what where the most important characteristics of that leadership? How did that leadership make a difference for practitioners and the services delivered to children and families? What do you see as the biggest challenges for a leader in a child protection organisation?
- What are you like when you are leading at your best? What do the people around you see in concrete behaviour? What are the results of this leadership?
- When your worst leadership behaviour shows itself, what does that look like and what happens then?
Part 3: Signs of Safety Organisational Implementation
- Applicant demonstrates their understanding of the latest Signs of Safety organisational implementation framework, process and trajectory.
- Applicant articulates their own thinking and experience about Signs of Safety organisational implementation.
- Applicant demonstrates their own unique ideas and approach to exploring the application of Signs of Safety implementation with leaders at all levels.
- Applicant demonstrates the quality and branding of their current presentation material. e.g. PowerPoint slides and handouts.
- Applicant demonstrates quality presentation of training resources such as PowerPoint slides and handout materials they use.
- Applicant demonstrates ability to provide Knowledge Bank-ready training resources and materials.
3.1 Readings and Reflections
Please read the current Signs of Safety Implementation Comprehensive Theory, Framework and Trajectory document, as well as chapter 10 of the Comprehensive Briefing Paper and then write and submit your reflections to the following questions:
- What do you see as the most important messages and elements of the framework, process and trajectory?
- Is there anything you would add or remove?
- Are there particular methodological or theoretical approaches or frameworks that guide or influence your thinking about organisational implementation? What are they and what is most important to you about these approaches?
- From your experience, what do you see as the most challenging aspects of the framework, process and trajectory for a child protection agency and leadership to take on? What are your ideas about leading the organisation in this area?
To ensure that your application process is as smooth as possible, this page is deliberately void of key reference documents required for you to complete the rest of the application. Once you have completed Part 1 and payment of your invoice has been received, you will be given a link to a web page that contains active links to the reference documents.
- Signs of Safety Implementation: Comprehensive Theory, Framework and Trajectory Doc (PDF)
- Signs of Safety Comprehensive Briefing Paper (PDF)
3.2 Create an Exercise
Create and submit an exercise for leaders, including PowerPoint slides, accompanying explanatory notes and any handout material you would use, focused on some aspect of the Signs of Safety Implementation process and trajectory. Please submit the exercise in two formats:
- In the format you use in consultancy work; and
- in the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank branding and format.
All licensed Signs of Safety consultants must contribute one complete training resource for the Signs of Safety Knowledge Bank each year. The resource should be “Knowledge Bank-ready”, meaning that it is:
- fully prepared and presented so that another trainer can take the resource and use it; and
- prepared in the Knowledge Bank branding and format.
To ensure that your application process is as smooth as possible, this page is deliberately void of key reference documents required for you to complete the rest of the application. Once payment of your invoice has been received, you will be given a link to a web page that contains active links to the reference documents.
The requirements for preparing Knowledge Bank resources are available here:
If the applicant is accepted, the resource will be placed in the Knowledge Bank as the applicant’s first year contribution.
Part 4: Organisational Mapping
To ensure that your application process is as smooth as possible, please do not begin work on this section until you have completed Part 1.
- Applicant demonstrates their understanding of using and adapting the Signs of Safety three columns framework for organisational learning and implementation purposes.
- Applicant demonstrates their ability to prepare, contextualise and lead a three columns mapping for organisational learning and implementation purposes.
- Applicant demonstrates ability to reflect, analyse and critique their own organisational mapping facilitation and practice.
- Applicant demonstrates ability to record video and audio of practice to a standard that can be used as a learning resource for themselves and others.
- Applicant demonstrates they have the skills to upload the video via the internet. This is important as licensed consultants need to be able to create video material for regular Signs of Safety Trainer and Consultant group supervision.
Please submit a video recording of yourself leading a three column mapping with a child protection leadership group. We are looking for you to demonstrate your capacity to adapt the mapping to a specific context and issues, so the mapping should not be looking at an overall Signs of Safety implementation, but rather be focused on a specific organisational issue. For example, working with courts, staff turnover, managing a crisis, improving parent and network involvement, improving child involvement, implementing a new IT system.
With this video, also prepare and submit:
- a brief description of who you were working with and the organisational purpose for the mapping work you were leading;
- the plan you had for the organisational mapping, including particularly the questions you were hoping to ask;
- a full transcript of the 5–6 minutes of the work you were most pleased with, along with your reflections on what you were most pleased; and
- a full transcript of the 5–6 minutes of the work you felt you would like to improve or where you felt you struggled, along with your reflections on what the challenges were.
Part 5: Photo & Biography
We will need a biography and headshot (portrait) photo of you. They will be used to promote you and the Signs of Safety community on the Trainer & Consultant page on the Signs of Safety website. An up-to-date headshot is always good for you to have on hand in case you need to supply it to clients or for promotional purposes.
Part 6: Interview
Your Regional Director will then be in touch with you and will arrange an interview. Following this interview you will find out if you have been approved to be licensed.