The Challenging Behaviour Foundation was commissioned by Skills for Care in 2023 to carry out work looking at the social care workforce in the Nottinghamshire area. The focus was to hear from families about what the workforce that supports them and their relatives should be like, particularly what level of skills and experiences support staff should have. This included frontline staff such as Personal Assistants (PA’s) and support workers; in addition, the roles of leaders and social workers or commissioners of services.
- Develop an understanding of regional and national initiatives and good practice
- Conduct a desktop review of the needs of families and workforce development
- Engage with “What matters to me” focus groups and online survey
- Report on analysis of findings
The report is based on the findings of:
- Desktop research – Research of keywords across various platforms including academic papers, journal articles, research reports, frameworks, national guidance and standards looking at workforce development for people with a learning disability from 2017 to present.
- ‘What Matters To Us’ focus groups – Two focus groups of family carers supporting a family member with a learning disability, who is considered to have complex needs and/or behaviour described as challenging, who live in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire. Discussion focused on 5 key themes (identified from the findings of the desktop research).
- ‘What Matters To Us’ survey – Shared with family carers supporting a family member with a learning disability, who is considered to have complex needs and/or behaviour described as challenging, who live in Nottingham or Nottinghamshire. The questions covered experiences of skilled support, access to support, ideas for improvement, and good practice.
The report outlines the findings of each of these approaches, including themes which emerged.
“They just know how to communicate with [my child]. They’ve got the skill set to learn. I think the most important thing as a good support worker is they listen to you when you’re explaining what [your child] is like and how to communicate.”
The Challenging Behaviour Foundation is aware of the impact for families when these factors are not considered as part of workforce development and offer a range of training workshops for professionals to promote awareness, understanding and partnership.
Whole Family Approaches Training: professionals who would value the opportunity to engage in a reflective and practical course to improve practices around family centred approaches.
Trauma Awareness for Professionals: designed to create a shared understanding with the experiences of families navigating health, social care and education systems and the trauma they experience in this. It explores the factors that contribute to traumatic experiences and encourages professionals to reflect on how their service can prevent or mitigate any further trauma to families.
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“The other thing is to encourage staff to take on extra training, develop qualifications and skills they can take with them. I think that’s also important, that we value you enough to train you”