Roles and relationships

The spaces in which we work provide us with many opportunities to engage; but in making constructive relationships, it’s the Three Rs that do most of the heavy lifting. The centrality of relationships, which runs through everything, does so most obviously, most practically,  in the Three Rs.

The Three Rs provide a more precise and tighter focus on the nitty gritty of the day to day life of services – the rules and procedures of the service.

Roles, for example, will include such arrangements as having a keyworker, or system broker; investing in peer support, such as by having peer support workers; having a designated 'PIE lead' in any larger agency, to co-ordinate and support development across the services; being an 'ambassador' or 'PIE chanpion' at more local level, in relationships with other agecies in the locality (though this may be a new role for ALL staff); and specifying roles in the team Pizazz action plan as to exactly who will do what.

NB: The text that follows here is an excerpt from : The Book of PIE (HERE)


With roles come relationships

.'..delegation - with its counterpart, flexibility - is one of the major concerns of any service that deals with people with complex needs. One obvious way to manage this is to have a structure, with deputies, shift or site managers, with specific or general authority on the day.

Another is to locate such flexibility in a 1-1 relationship. Creating roles such as keyworker can help emphasise the importance of relationships, and provide continuity in communications with other agencies and professionals outside the service. But these may be less meaningful, even unhelpful, in short-term or less personalised services, especially those that may want to avoid giving the impression that they think all their users have personal problems...

..   But similarly, a buddying approach, to encourage users to attend medical or similar help outside the service can be an encouragement to expect to be seen as a citizen, and not just a service user. 'Citizen', too, is a role.......

....There are in short many ways to enable and encourage access to specialist support.  There will likewise be many ways to encourage peer support, with explicit roles such as buddy or peer mentor; and some of the ways to empower users, such as  having a service user consultation group, can provide very visible roles for its members.

But roles can also be very low-key, and spontaneous – such as being the person who feeds the cat. Some forms of volunteering are so unobtrusive they are barely even recognised; but they may be no less important in giving a sense of participating, having a place in the service.


With relationships come roles

'But of all these informal roles, perhaps the most important of all will be the informal roles that develop within the community of the street homeless; and we know how much these relationships and this status in a community may matter to an individual. Services will need to be fully aware of these, and be able to work with this material, just as they must respect and work with the informal 'social spaces' that a rough-sleeping individual may establish around themselves. There can be peer group acceptance in the street living community, and that is one reason that many recently re-housed will return to the street, if only to drink there among friends....

.....Where people are re-housed in dispersed accommodation, this isolation can be a major problem, and steps taken to mitigate the effects will be necessary. Keeping in touch by phone helps to a degree. Making available on-going group support, perhaps via creative participation in creative activities – a gardening project, or a choir – can help. But also, encouraging local contacts, whether formally, through ‘circles of support’, or informally, through making contact with neighbours, can make all the difference.  The point is that there is an important role for the community – which will come back to again later......

.......There are also many examples of Clubhouse or similar medium-to-long term, flexible support services, that use ‘membership’ as a status that conveys some sense of belonging - though it can be flexible as to how much it may means to any one individual; and membership does imply also some kind of contract, with participation and perhaps obligations (even subscriptions) that can be symbolically powerful...'


Further links and background

Psychological awareness ; HERE

  • Empathy and emotional intelligence : HERE
  • Approaches and techniques : HERE
  • Psychological models : HERE

Training and support : HERE

Learning and enquiry : HERE

  • Reflective practice : HERE
  • A culture of Enquiry : HERE
  • Sector engagement : HERE
  • Evidence- generating practice : HERE

Spaces of opportunity : HERE

  • The built environment : HERE
  • Networks and surroundings : HERE
  • Pathways, systems and system coherence : HERE

The Three Rs : HERE

  • Rules and procedures : HERE
  • Roles and relationships : HERE
  • Responsiveness : HERE


Where are relationships in PIEs 2.0? : HERE

A lived experience view of PIEs : HERE

What's the Big Idea?  : HERE

From PIEs 1 to PIEs 2.0 : HERE

Will there be a PIEs 3? : HERE