The Strengths Revolution’ weekly podcast show was launched on 22nd April 2014. Just go into iTunes Store, click the ‘Podcast’ link on the top menu, then put ‘The Strengths Revolution’ into the search box.

Listen, subscribe, and add a review if you feel able to. Remember… listening, downloading or subscribing to the show is FREE!

'Working with Strengths' was published in May 2014 as a comprehensive resource for reviewing the literature and reflecting on strengths-based practice as applied to people in contact with services, as well as the strengths-focused development of practitioners, teams and organisations. It draws on the wider business literature as well as health and social care references to broaden the applicability of the ideas.

'Risk Decision-Making' was published in 2013 to help shift the focus from a tick-box culture to the realities of what good practice should be about. The manual and cd-rom provide the resources that should engage senior management in organisations, as well as the practitioners and multidisciplinary teams.

June 2007 saw the publication of the Working With Risk Trainers Manual and Practitioner Manual through Pavilion Publishing. The Trainers Manual provides a flexible two-day training programme, with the option of using any of the individual sessions as stand-alone training resources. The Practitioner Manual provides a set of practice-based risk tools with supporting guidance on how and when to use each. These materials also aim to discuss some of the wider risk issues and identify a key part of current research and literature. The practice-based tools are also supported by completed case examples.

To make contact either send me a message via the 'Contact Me' form or (if it's urgent) you can call me on 07733 105264.

Practice Based Evidence commenced business in October 2001. Promoting the value of the messages from service users, carers and practitioners experiences. These are often marginalised by the emphasis placed on research.


  • The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support
    The Art of Co-ordinating Care: A Handbook of Best Practice for Everyone Involved in Care and Support

    Jointly written by Practice Based Evidence & ARW, this resource is of importance to everyone in mental health, social care and learning disability services, including primary care.

  • Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice
    Assertive Outreach: A Strengths Approach to Policy and Practice

    Primarily aimed at developing assertive outreach, but its focus on a strengths approach is applicable to all parts of the mental health system.

« Getting to know you, getting to know all about you... | Main | One Foot in the Door - Mental Health Today »

'Strengths' Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes

The following article was first published in the Mental Health Review Journal (June 2008) and is reproduced with their kind permission.



Assertive outreach is based on extensive international research and has been promoted in the UK in 1999 as a key area of the National Service Framework for Mental Health. Its primary aim is to provide a specialist service for people disengaged from traditional approaches of mental health services, but very little attention has been paid to how such services can be developed. Practice Based Evidence, a practice development consultancy, has engaged seven assertive outreach teams to focus on development first, and follow-up evaluation of the impact of reflective practice on team functioning. This has prompted a number of strengths-based recommendations for changing the way we think about developing services before we engage in research and evaluation.

PDF: 'Strengths' Assertive Outreach: A Review of Seven Practice Development Programmes

Excerpt from Part 3: Evaluating a Strengths Approach to Practice Development

Developing a tool to guide and capture the strengths messages

The rationale underpinning a strengths approach led to the development of a 13- item tool to help capture some measurement of how practice development and team functioning can influence positive changes in team practice. The tool should also act as a prompt to areas of good practice, so the items are designed to be a sufficiently comprehensive reflection of ethical issues, care process, team functioning, and an underpinning knowledge base. Yet, this also needs to be a manageable tool (i.e. fitting one side of paper) if it is to engage practitioners interests and be used.

    Ethical practice
  1. Service users are fully involved in determining the ‘priorities’ for the working relationship.
  2. As a team, we regularly examine and review the impact of ‘values and principles’ on our practice.
  3. Care process
  4. Time for creative approaches to ‘engagement’ is a priority.
  5. Our assessment of needs includes the identification of service user ‘strengths’.
  6. We identify and manage the appropriate opportunities for ‘positive risk-taking’ in practice.
  7. Our working practice draws on a broad range of ‘practical and research based’ approaches.
  8. Team working
  9. We are clear about our ‘purpose’ as an assertive outreach team.
  10. We have a clearly agreed model of ‘team-working’ (within team).
  11. We have effective systems of ‘support and supervision’.
  12. We have clear processes of ‘decision-making’ in the team.
  13. We ‘link’ effectively with other parts of the mental health system (including primary care).
  14. Knowledge in practice
  15. We make full use of the ‘diverse’ knowledge, skill and experience within the team.
  16. We access appropriate expertise from outside of the team.

Developing the method of evaluation

The method focuses on evaluation of changes in practice that gives useful feedback to the teams about their global functioning, as well as indicators to priorities they may choose to focus specific attention on. This is not the same as the approach established in many of the well known research projects examining the effectiveness of assertive outreach. The research approach has been one of top-down influences, whereby external sources examine questions relating to their desire to compare outcomes to other known and established research. The evaluation approach is a bottom-up influence, whereby the practitioners are engaged in reflecting on how their team is performing in relation to practice-based outcomes.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>