Case Studies


Foundation UK is a charity based in the North of England that works with socially excluded people helping them to gain full independence in their local community.

Whether its support to manage a tenancy, find a job, tackle drug addiction or improve family relationships, they help individuals overcome all kinds of challenges so they can realise their potential and become a part of their community.

Working with a diverse range of partner agencies and organisations, they have a reputation for transforming troubled lives and for the enthusiasm, commitment and quality of service which has made them the largest organisation in the North of England providing essential services to socially excluded groups.

The Challenge

Foundation UK has 30 projects with a team of 30 project managers supported by teams of support workers and support assistants.  The organisation had recently revised their safeguarding policy. They had identified that training was needed for managers on their safeguarding policy as well as reflective supervision practices. Managers that would be attending were from a variety of different backgrounds and levels of experience. Challenges for the organisation were ensuring that there was consistency of training; that time is precious for managers, training to be cost effective and that the training must be scenario based to bring safeguarding within supervision to the forefront of their minds and practice. Understanding safer culture and safer working practices were also important.

The Athena Solution

Athena believes in working with Foundation UK on a partnership approach. This included thorough preparation and understanding of Foundation UK and safeguarding and supervision policies to ensure any training met current standards and practices. We designed a training programme that included a variety of learning approaches which were participative, inclusive and interactive. There were opportunities for discussion, individual and group activities, critical reflection. The format also included a solution focused approach for outcome focused planning and delivered in a creative manner. Using Athena’s wealth of training resources, we designed a bespoke trainer’s script detailing the needed training resources, materials, training exercises or activities, learning outcomes and timings. The learning outcomes for the workshops were bespoke to the organisational needs for their mangers and included Raise awareness of safer culture and safer working practices; A greater understanding of managing the safeguarding process for managing staff; Learn to empower and challenge in the management safeguarding issues both internally and externally; Understand and explore managing risk around safeguarding issues; Understanding your role and responsibilities within a risk management culture and Allow time for reflective practice and sharing of best practice to increase confidence of participants An accompanying ‘power point’ presentation was designed to include the most recent research on reflective practice supervision and lessons learned in Safeguarding. Clear and concise handouts were prepared which recapped the main themes of the programme. They also included links which sign-posted participants to internet or intranet support.

The Outcome

Athena delivered full day Safeguarding Managers Workshops in two geographical locations across the North West. An up-to-date, interactive and fun training course was created that fitted the requirements of Foundation UK. The work was completed in an organised, friendly and timely way which resulted in increased confidence and knowledge for all Foundation UK Managers. The use of real life case studies brought reality and credibility to the training programme to demonstrate that the managers of Foundation UK are in key positions to identify safeguarding concerns in practice through effective supervision. Faye Fox- Learning & Development Coordinator said “Foundation approached Athena to provide us with some specialist safeguarding training. We worked in partnership with Athena to develop a bespoke safeguarding for project managers workshop. They incorporated our policy & procedures into the session to ensure our managers were aware of their roles & responsibilities when working in a risk management culture. The sessions offered a variety of learning approaches suitable for our needs & the trainer was extremely knowledgeable about the subject. We look forward to working with Athena again in the future”.