Lies Van Nuland

Lies Van Nuland
Country: Belgium
Languages: Dutch
Licensed Signs of Safety Trainer
I started to work with young people who were less fortunate in different organizations, as a social worker and also as a leader. Those young people learned from me; by approaching them in a positive way and believing in them — searching for their talents to make them stronger to handle their difficult situation at home.
After 10 years working with them, we moved to the Netherlands for 5 years and I became a child protection worker at Bureau Jeugdzorg Amsterdam. It was a new experience working with families who had been directed to by a judge. I experienced that focussing on the safety of the children, on the parents’ good parenting, opened many doors. Their belief in me gave me the opportunity to become a senior and give supervision to my collegues in implementing FFPS (Functional Family Parole Services) and GGW (Generiek Gezinsgericht Werken). This experience taught me that getting supervision in my own learning process and leading groups in their learning process gives me energy.

Back to Belgium, I started at Jongerenwelzijn in 2013 as Regional Staff and soon we had 3 day training course with Andrew Turnell in Brussels. From that moment I, together with many colleagues, was convinced that Signs of Safety was the approach that could help us to do better with child protection in Flanders. In 2015, Jongerenwelzijn decided to implement Signs of Safety. I gave supervision to social workers and teams with the focus on learning by good practices, and supporting networks around children. In 2016, I got the opportunity to work with children and families again as a worker at a juvenile court (sdj Dendermonde) by using the Signs of Safety approach in managing a caseload of 80 children working 80%. I believe that Signs of Safety can have a bigger positive impact on children and families when more social workers are trained in it. Because working together, using the same approach and language in looking for a child’s safety, is much stronger.