Tag Archives: CAT Case Management

purple lettering YMCA on a white background

Psychology Partner – Tender Opportunity with Liverpool & Sefton YMCA

In her second guest blog, Ellie McNeil, CEO of Liverpool  & Sefton YMCA invites interest in a tender opportunity to support CAT-related work in her service

Our journey to becoming a psychologically informed service using CAT as our means to understand service users, processes, people, teams and systems has been in motion for over 5 years. Beginning as one off training and emerging into CAT case management throughout our services and systems has been enlightening, rewarding and challenging.

We have taken the end of one project and the results of an evaluation conducted by Catalyse to pause and reflect on our past and our future in how we sustainably maintain our commitment to using CAT to deliver relationally informed care and support to people who use our services and in the way we think about our organisation and it’s processes and enactments at all levels.

We have applied CAT as a case management tool across our homeless services, we are working to embed it in our domestic abuse provision and mental health service. For the first time we have directly employed a CAT therapist and a trainee counsellor who we hope will progress to becoming a CAT therapist. These posts sit in our Rehabilitation service, working with people who are seeking treatment for a drug or alcohol issue.

The challenge of embedding change in a voluntary sector organisation is both simple and complex. We do not have the bureaucratic challenges faced by colleagues in the NHS or local government but we do not have the infrastructure and resources either. Change at scale is challenging and platforms for influence can often feel minimal but there is also a sense that we are a test bed for something so valuable for people who use our services that with robust evidence, tenacity and good connections we can begin to share the difference that CAT has made to how we think, feel and communicate about everything we do.

We are now tendering for an ACAT accredited partner to support us by facilitating supervision groups and helping us to develop some training to empower other organisation to become relationally informed. Our requirements are: 

We require the facilitation of four supervision groups per month:

  • Monthly Leadership Reflective Practice – 90 minutes
  • Monthly Recovery Pathway Clinical Strategy Group – 90 minutes
  • Monthly supervision group for facilitators of reflective practice – 3 hours with a break
  • Monthly supervision for CAT Therapist and Trainee CAT Therapist

We will be looking to deliver the training a minimum of four times a year and therefore 8 training days charged at a day rate will also be required.

The tender can be downloaded from our website www.liverpoolymca.org.uk and for an informal conversation please email me at ellie.mcneil@liverpoolymca.org.uk and we can arrange a time to speak.

YMCA Tender YMCA-Tender-psychology-partner2020.docx

Excerpt from a large visual recording image from Liverpool Multiple Complex Needs conference in 2016 -

A Relational Approach to Recovery: Liverpool YMCA

In this guest blog, Ellie McNeil , Chief Executive of YMCA Liverpool and Sefton, shares reflections on the journey both she and her organisation have taken in developing a CAT-informed approach over the last few years.  She offers an opportunity to shape the development of a new residential rehabilitation programme where CAT will be embedded throughout.

The use of CAT in YMCA Liverpool and Sefton has been and continues to be a journey of reflection, challenge, hope and change. Working with Dr Karen Shannon, we initially brought in the CAT approach to enable the delivery of a project supporting people with multiple and complex needs. Disenfranchised, excluded, rejected and frightened manifested as aggressive, disengaged, self sabotaging, and rejecting. We knew we needed a different approach, not only to elicit change with service users but more so to support the staff in their roles.

The team were trained in CAT Case Management, and we started to use reflective practice. Over the subsequent years we tweaked and changed our way of working. With the support of Karen, we had created a framework to work within. We’d developed a shared understanding of why the people we supported behaved the way they did and what we could do to change our response so that we could support them more effectively.

From our current use of CAT I could see the breadth of application that the approach could give Liverpool YMCA as an organisation. It helped us understand the perspectives of our service users, staff, processes and policies, and the wider impact of the system. I was particularly interested in how CAT could help us in note the pulls and pushes of the outside world, including relationships with commissioners, funders, policy makers and influencers.

I myself embarked on the CAT Case Management course to gain a fuller understanding of this. The learning I have gained has helped me feel that change is possible. Through making changes to myself I can begin to ensure the organisation and the people in it have the best possible chance of change too.

Following a significant journey of reflection together, through some challenges and hurdles, we now have a strong leadership reflective practice group. This provides a safe space for us to work towards bettering the organisation for the staff and service users. I am incredibly proud of where we are as a team and believe we have got to this place because of the shared understanding, language and framework that CAT gives us. Working in a CAT informed way helps me to ensure the organisation can be a positive place for service users and staff members now and in the future.

In partnership with two other organisations, we have recently been successful in tendering for a range of recovery services in Liverpool. We will be delivering the accommodation based rehabilitation service. This is a 12 week treatment programme supporting people to understand and move on from their substance use. Our model for the residential rehabilitation service sets out a Relational Approach to Recovery (RAR) using CAT.

At the heart of this approach is a commitment to be collaborative and flexible.  We will get alongside and ‘do with’ our service users in providing support and rehabilitation, not ‘do to/for’ them. Our service delivery will build further on the genuine psychologically informed approach we take in our other services, building and fostering hope and working alongside people to achieve sustainable recovery. We’re currently inviting expressions of interest in a Cognitive Analytic Therapist role to help progress this work.

We will work with our partners, ensuring good planning, co-operation and collaboration across organisations. We intend to agree and jointly own procedures for all stages of the interaction between service users and agencies. This includes the journey from referral to assessment, information sharing to planning, transitions, service provision to funding and review. We will hold operational and strategic reflective practice groups across the partnership. Both groups will be facilitated by Dr Karen Shannon. The recovery pathway across Liverpool will be dynamic and groundbreaking, providing a service that is therapeutically rich and provides the best possible opportunities for change.

The future of YMCA Liverpool and Sefton feels bright and vibrant. We are an organisation that genuinely reflects. We commit to noting challenges, and learning and growing from them as well as celebrating successes. Our staff team across our services are outstanding. Their resilience, commitment and kindness makes me so proud. Ultimately, however, we are here to serve the people that need us. Every person using our services shows bravery, courage and the ability to change when they step through the door. Through our understanding and use of CAT we are now able to get alongside them and support them to a brighter, sustainable future.

You can read more about how CAT has been used as an organisational framework at Liverpool YMCA in the following two Reformulation articles from 2016 and 2017 (full details are listed on Karen Shannon’s profile page):

Use of Cognitive Analytic Concepts; A relational framework for Organisational service delivery and working with clients with Multiple Complex Needs (MCN) at the Liverpool YMCA

‘Seeing the unseen’. Supporting organisational and team working at YMCA Liverpool with multiple complex clients. The use of Cognitive Analytic concepts to enhance service delivery

For more details and downloads about the CAT Therapist post with YMCA Liverpool & Sefton, click on this link.  Expressions of Interest are invited prior to an open evening on 20 March 2019.