Bruce Thornton

Consultancy and training in social care

Bruce Thornton provides training and consultancy services in social care.  He has developed a number of training and intervention products in the area of Children’s Social Care and delivered to Local Authorities, Health, Family Justice, Police and other agencies.  He works across the social care sector.  He has provided training for prevention and early intervention services but is most often asked to provide services to statutory sector Children’s Services.


Bruce Thornton delivers training in diverse areas such as assessment, outcome based planning and using specialist assessment tools.  His own specialism is in the assessment of risk of significant harm.


Bruce Thornton is often asked to assist Local Authorities who face big challenges, have identified important practice shortfalls or have been criticised in inspection reports.  He is a trusted resource to meet the needs of Local Authorities in some of the most difficult and challenging practice areas.  Using a flexible approach, Bruce works with senior officers to understand the desired direction but works directly with practitioners and managers to make the difference really happen. From training courses, individual mentoring or delivering train the trainer approaches he aims to build enduring capacity within organisations.


The Risk Model was developed by Bruce Thornton in partnership with Gwynedd Children Services.  It created an analysis framework to assess the threshold of likelihood of significant harm.  This is the key decision in Children’s Social Care and underpins everything from referral decisions, child protection procedures and care proceedings.  Awarded a Social Care Accolade in 2011 it has been widely implemented in Local Authorities in England and Wales.  It has been modified for use in early intervention services in large metropolitan authorities and in family justice by CAFCASS Cymru.


Contact Bruce Thornton to discuss ways he can support you and your organisaton


What people are saying....


‘Bruce has worked with my team. He’s mentored me, helping me develop my skills and confidence. He provided us all training. Staff trust him.  He really understands the reality of work in front line child protection. His approach is easy for us to understand and use.”   


Team Manager, Child Protection


“Safeguarding officers who chair Child Protection Conferences indicate that where this new risk assessment tool is used, the quality of work is good with risks clearly identified.” 

Ofsted 2011


“The Risk Model offers us a structured approach to our threshold decisions.  It supports front line practice, with social workers reporting greater confidence in decision making using their professional opinion.  Embedding this continues to be a challenge.  Integrating Risk 1 into other processes, in particular supervision made a huge difference. The model promotes safeguarding for individual children and also reassures me that the risk of significant harm is being managed across the whole service.”


Head of Children Services, Local Authority. 






















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