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Current Issues: 1. Common Factors for a Resilient Organization 2. Journey with SoS , an Empowering Process for an Organizations 3. Training, an Intimate Practice? 4. Building Contexts, not Contents. Ai Hishikawa , MA

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Current Issues: 1. Common Factors for a Resilient Organization2. Journey with SoS, an Empowering Process for an Organizations3. Training, an Intimate Practice?4. Building Contexts, not Contents

Ai Hishikawa, MA

Tokai University, School of Health Sciences, Department of Social Work, Associate Prof.

Certified Psychiatric Social Worker

Child Forensic Interviewer

Signs of Safety Trainer

Official Recognition and Implementation of SoS at Child Guidance Centers (CPS, a statutory agency) in Japan


  • Saitama City Child Guidance Center


  • Saitama City CGC
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Center CGC


  • Saitama City CGC
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Center CGC
  • Kyoto-fu (prefecture) CGCs, 5 years implementation plan ※


  • Saitama City CGC
  • Tokyo Metropolitan Center CGC
  • Kyoto-fu CGCs ※
  • Chikusei CGC in Ibaraki Prefecture
  • Kamakura – Misaki CGC in Kanagawa Prefecture as a pilot study ※
  • Saitama Prefecture find 2013 a critical year to decide whether to go on with SoSsytem wide implementation
  • Nagoya City CGC

※ Ai is not training this CGC.

child abuse it s severity and complicated factors are the same anywhere in the world now
Child Abuse: it’s severity and complicated factors are the same anywhere in the world now
  • You will find…
    • parents using drugs, caught in trafficking
    • children on a registry of residents missing, no school nor administration holds the information of their whereabouts
    • poor health, poor income careers
    • sexual abuse, child porn
    • SBS and denial
    • DV
    • teenage pregnancy
    • high risk pregnancy
    • fatal incidents: mom-children murder & suicide ←very Japanese?

complicating factors of child guidance centers
Complicating Factors of Child Guidance Centers
  • The least wanted place to get reassigned
    • Debilitating health among social worker
    • Reassignment to other agencies in their municipal or prefectural agencies every 2 to 3 other years
      • With some exceptions, but not much can be developed as to expertise in one specialty
    • As public servants, they are not necessarily trained or certified social workers
      • They are intelligent that passed the entrance exam where only 1 in 10 can pass
      • Public servants are popular job because its job is secure and their position protected until they retire.
      • We start to see a public servant quitting her/his job because she/he was assigned to Child Guidance Center
  • Freshmen from college are often assigned to work as a social worker in child protection service. Most of the CGC social workers are in their 20’s and with less than a year or two experience as a CPS social worker.
  • Budget for the trainings is depleting, very scarce.
1 emergence of resilient organizations
1. Emergence of Resilient Organizations
  • In April, 2013
    • Despite the reassignment of the game changers in the CGC, 2 CGCs showed their resilience in continuing the Journey with SoS in their office.
      • Saitama City CGC
        • 2013 March: 2 leading SoS practice facilitators, Satoshi and Yasutake were reassigned to a counseling room run by a local board of education committee and to a local mental health center.
        • 2013 May: Organization system change: a shift was to help Yuko as well as to meet the challenges SCCGC was required to face. 6 members of SCCGC were assigned to function as a SoS Practice Facilitators and do case consultation. The new team also planned to hold a regular meeting to share good practice within the agency once a month after office hours, still it is considered as work.
        • SCCGC showed the resilience as an organization to stick with SoS on their own. Ai was not a consultant on this transitional phase. (They don’t need me as a consultant but a trainer. So, now you know why I didn’t pay to get licensed as a consultant. No market, here.)
      • Saitama Prefecture South CGC or known to Andrew as a Ice Alf Team
common factors in resilient agencies
Common Factors in Resilient Agencies
  • 1 Leading SoS Practitioner that takes the most difficult cases in his/her CGC. His or her great practice had to be quite visible and WoW the rest of the workers. He/she has a great partner in his/her office.

Satoshi and Yasutake, for an example

  • Leading SoS Practitioners and some other SoS practitioners could actually show others how and what to do about many aspects of SoS thru their conversation with families over phone or at the time of home visits, OJT (demonstrating).
common factors in resilient agencies1
Common Factors in Resilient Agencies
  • The leading SoS practitioner organizes a study group for the social workers in their office (intra agency). A study group runs once a month, after working hours but recognized as work from the office.
  • Study group members become willing to try new things and talk about their challenges here and there informally in the office. There are people around them that send positive feedback to their challenges verbally and non-verbally. You can sense that SoS wind is blowing.
  • The leading SoS practitioner and the socialworkers who are trying SoS in their everyday casework and Ai have great deal of trust and respect towards each others: thru once a month regular in-house training and/or Three Legged Crow Team, an inter-agency practitioners group run by Ai once a month on a Saturday afternoon in Tokyo
  • Ai is working for them as a child forensic interviewer: they see me how I am in practice, similar but differentthough.
2 saitama city cgc journey with sos an empowering process for an organization
2. Saitama City CGC: Journey with SoS, an Empowering Process for an Organization
  • What was happening in their office
    • Started SoS practice with the most difficult cases with strong outcome
      • Satoshi’s SoS work was shown at 4th International SoS Gathering in Leiden, Netherland, 2011
      • Reabuse rate proved to be 3.0 %
    • What changesin their office SoS implementation had brought ※
        • Acquired the habit of thinking about “Children’s Safety” and “collaboration with Families”: this in turn led us to more precise risk judgment. When ideas of Collaborating with the Families comes first, it helped us to not to become professional’s self-satisfaction but rather come to think as a habit about how we can talk to parents so that we could start working together.
        • Improved working relationships were found (90%) in cases where parents and CGC had long been in severe conflicts
        • Complemented the lack of experience: newly assigned social workers showed good practice because of the framework which is simple and systematic.
        • Sense of Professionalism grew among practitioners in CGC: confidence has changed the attitude of the practitioners towards difficult cases, as a good challenges. Much more motivated when attending to trainings.
        • Sense of Team Work was strengthened: beyond what specialty each holds, now that we acquired the common language, multidisciplinary team work was strengthened. Much more meaningful, constructive discussions considering the plans of casework.

※ Satoshi Nakao, SoS and Saitama City CGC Practice of Child Abuse Prevention, Mar.12, 2013 handouts

saitama city cgc journey with sos an empowering process for an organization
Saitama City CGC: Journey with SoS, an Empowering Process for an Organization
  • What was happening towards (inter-)
    • During 3 years, Saitama CGC was asked to
      • Lectures
      • Visits
    • From 17various agencies/organizations
      • National Institute of Public Health (Government run organization),
      • 8 Prefectures CGC, 1 City CGC
      • 7 within Saitama City’s agencies such as public heath centers
    • Presentations at the Conference
      • Sep. 2011 SoS International Gathering in Netheralnd
      • Dec. 2011 JaSPCAN in Ibaraki Prefecture
      • Nov. 2012 SoS Gathering in WA by invitation
      • Dec. 2012 JaSPCAN in Kochi Prefecture
      • May 2013 MN Community of Practice, Child Welfare
    • Newspaper
      • Nov.6,2012 Yomiuri (National)
      • Nov.14, 2012 Saitama (Local)
      • Dec.26, 2012 Tokyo (Local)
saitama city cgc journey with sos an empowering process for an organization1
Saitama City CGC: Journey with SoS, an Empowering Process for an Organization
  • What was happening at the political level
    • March 12, 2013 13:00-14:20
    • Saitama City Council Members asked Saitama City CGC to present
      • Director Hiroshi Kanno and Satoshi Nakao presented their Journeys with SoS
  • February and March, 2013
  • NHK (Japan’s National Broadcasting Television) was covering Saitama City CGC and the family for May program, which they had to give up in the end because Satoshi was reassigned to another agency in the city.
  • They put it on the web:
definition of empowerment
Definition of Empowerment
  • “Empowerment is a process of increasing personal, interpersonal, or political power so that individuals can take action to improve their life situations.”※
    • Personal/ individual: the person develops a sense of personal power, a sense of self-efficacy
    • Interpersonal: an ability to affect the behaviors of others
    • Political: an ability to work with others to change social institutions
  • Saitama City CGC has increased its power in each and at every level during these 3 years of journey with SoS.
  • ※ Lorraine M. Gutierrez, Working with Women of Color: an Empowerment Perspective Social Work, 35, p149, 1990
3 training is an intimate practice
3. Training is an Intimate Practice?
  • I came to have this question thru my experience training Saitama City CGC and Tokyo Metropolitan Center CGC.
    • Tokyo is following Saitama City’s training model but I see no signs of SoS practice there…
cgc trainer r elationship
CGC - Trainer Relationship


Business as usual

In their training rooms only

Not much exchanges of E-mails and such beyond training sessions

Don’t know any personal journeys of SoS

Don’t hear any good practice of SoS

  • I find myself in their office, they let me into their urgent meetings for preparing the response after the report of child abuse. It is an honor to be there. I don’t think no other trainers nor researchers were allowed in general.
  • We don’t say ‘No’ to each others’ requests.
  • Beyond the expectation of what will come next
    • International Gatherings, Presentation in English
    • Travelled with the Director and other CGC agencies from other prefecture
  • Respect
    • Challenges into more difficult cases
    • I often hear Good Small but Solid Practice
  • The Three Legged Crow Teammembers transactions are happening, too.

And it is clear what difference it has made so far….

4 e mphasis is on building contexts for enabling transactions among social workers in the field
4. Emphasis is on building Contexts for enabling transactions among social workers in the field
  • The CGC Supervisors and Study Group Heads Team (2013)
  • The Three Legged Crow Team (2011)
  • A small study group outside the office, an original members of the Crow Team (2010)
    • Each team is showing their presence in JaSPCAN conference since 2010
  • Personal effort to hold Andrew’s Two-days workshop (2011, 2012, 2013)
    • 2013 is going to be another example of intimate practice between Andrew and the above team members (150 some).
  • Conference organizer for NPO Child Maltreatment Prevention Network: bringing Olmstead County (2006), Gateshead (2007) team, and Carver County team (2009, 2010) to Japan
what am i proud of
What am I proud of?
  • Crow team are now visiting each others CGC as a lecturer: Every one’s strengths in SoS practice is different, so it makes sense.
  • It shows what ‘Reciprocity’ and ‘Mutual’ relationship means
  • It shows what ‘Ripple Effect’ means
  • Does not cost money for training which is important: public servants do not charge for training when Ai does.
  • Ai can travel further to a bit distant and new place like Nagoya for regular training to aim for yet another system wide implementation.

Crows are flying

Ai is travelling

what i hope to bring back
What I hope to bring back
  • Ideas and thoughts about building a Resilient Organization?
  • Japan as an island, it is small but we have 207 CGCs in 47prefectures.
    • Do you think the same strategy in Tokyo area would continue to work?
    • Any other efficient ways?