Here is an outline of two of our training days for Foster Carers, Social Workers and Support Staff. We’ve worked with many clients within the care industry and love seeing the results, because of their real human impact. Bespoke workshops are always available, where we tailor the day to suit your needs, but here are two outlines of off-the-shelf workshops.
“the carers got a lot out of the day and the trainers were excellent” (Sharon, Social Worker)
Workshop 1: Excellent Communications – Managing Tricky Conversations
The life of a carer can be incredibly rewarding but there are challenges in many aspects of the work. How do you help a teenager who is experiencing difficult emotions? What’s the best way to respond to violent language or threatening behaviour? Here are some of the topics and learning objectives covered in Workshop 1.
1. Forum Theatre – Sweaty Simon & The Shower.
This is a group exercise based around the scenario of a 13 year old boy’s antisocial behaviour.
• Responding sensitively to angry or violent behaviour.
• Diffusing tension in a way that is quick, respective and effective.
• Exploring ways of coming to a mutually beneficial solution.
• Communicating difficult issues, ie hygiene.
• Explaining about relationships with someone of another gender.
2. Forum Theatre – The Story of Uncle Fred.
A group workshop centered around the story of an 8 year old girl who has just been placed into care and an untrustworthy relative suddenly appears on the scene.
• Relating a difficult issue
• Establishing boundaries in the relationship
• Creating a safe environment where the child can speak freely
• Discovering relevant information about a child’s past
• Conveying a difficult situation (ie why the child can’t see their ‘family’ member tonight).
3. Attachment Theory – up-to-the-minute thinking.
What is a healthy attachment? What is an ambivalent attachment? We introduce the basics of this important theory and help your participants understand how it can improve their day-to-day work.
4. Best Practice in communications – learning from each other.
We believe strongly in horizontal learning rather than vertical learning. In other words, the ‘top-down-we-have-the-knowledge’ model is very outdated, and we have found it more effective to imagine that everyone has the wisdom, like a massive communal brain, and we are facilitating the sharing of knowledge. Thus, peer-to-peer learning is always an important facet of our workshops.
5. Skills Practice
One on one opportunities for deepening the learning and putting it into practice through individual practicals. These are based around specific pre-prepared briefs.
• Encouraging the child to take responsibility.
• Making them feel safe and that they feel able to attach in your relationship.
• Showing that you care and that they feel safe that Responding to lying. Communicating distress.
• Persuading child to behave differently on future occasions and avoid repeat performance.
• Resolving conflict and reaching a mutually beneficial solution.
“the carers got a lot out of the day and the trainers were excellent” (Ray, Foster Carer)
Workshop 2: Excellent Communications – Working As Part Of A Professional Team
Foster Carers face many challenges, and it can be hard working as part of a professional team. This workshop focuses on building communication skills for working with teachers, social workers and presenting at LAC meetings. The aim is that participants leave the day with an increased sense of confidence in their abilities, and more techniques for effective interpersonal communications.
• What happens when a social worker throws last minute changes to a child’s placement, like ‘they’re leaving tomorrow’?
• How do you present your own view to a review panel when you’re not used to being assertive?
• What’s the best way to respond to children’s families when they aren’t supporting your views?
Outline of day
1. Forum Theatre Session 1: ‘Back to school’
A forum session that is based around a difficult conversation between FC and the child’s teacher, where we focus on building confidence and communication skills for the carer.
2. Transactional Analysis – Advanced Communications Theory.
3. Forum Theatre Session 2: ‘Working the Social Worker’ (A forum session
A Social Worker has been absent for four days and the Foster Carer faces an unforseen emergency. We’ll look at Foster Carer’s skills for understanding and improving relationships with Social Workers.
4. Skills Practice Simulation – Getting your views across with fellow professionals.
We simulate real-life situations help participants build their confidence.
• Building confidence
• Communicating situations
• Arguing your point
• Gaining respect as a professional
• To feel able and confident to present views in a professional way.
• To listen and respect the professionals.
• To recognise limiting behaviours.
• To leave with two or three strategies for change.
“Memorable, fresh and enjoyable!” (Diana Searle, Director, Greater London Fostering)