Care As You Are – blended learning Case Study
Before the implementation of the ‘Care As You Are’ (CAYA) programme, Islington London Borough Council (LBI) faced a significant challenge in equipping its professional staff with the necessary skills to support the emotional needs of family members caring for their loved ones.
The demand for highly trained practice staff to navigate the complexities of emotional caregiving had become increasingly evident within the social work, occupational therapy, and carers’ support and assessment teams.
The problem at hand was multifaceted. Traditional training methods often fell short in providing a comprehensive understanding of the emotional nuances involved in caregiving. The existing training programs were not specifically tailored to address the unique challenges faced by professionals when dealing with family members caring for a loved one. As a result, there was a pressing need to bridge this gap by developing a program that not only offered theoretical knowledge but also encouraged reflective practice, allowing professionals to draw insights from their own experiences.
Islington London Borough Council (LBI) is rolling the ‘Care As You Are’ (CAYA) programme out to a range of professional staff – and will extend this to some of the partner organisation staff in the voluntary sector. The first group to go through the programme has social work, occupational therapy, carers’ support and assessment staff.
The Care As You Are team has worked with the LBI Adult Social Care practice development manager to tailor the screens in the programme for LBI and to design the delivery of the programme as a development intervention. The key features of the approach adopted are:
- Form and lead groups of learners through the programme as a cohort (8 initially to set and develop the approach, then up to 30 per cohort)
- An initial orientation session and setting up the cohort to be able to log in and download the workbook; prep before first development session together was to go through the introductory module which sets how the programme works and how the film unfolds during the programme, style of learning
- Delivery was through four online half day group-based sessions covering each of the four sections of the programme with a facilitator leading the group through the modules for that section – learners had access to the full programme and the workbooks
- The facilitator shared screen, with the programme open; the cohort were guided through the pages and videos, and then into the activities, facilitator inviting group responses and also setting time for individuals to work through activities and record their thoughts, ideas and answers in their own downloaded workbooks. On rejoining the group individuals were invited to share what they had written about, learning with and from each other
- At the end of the sessions, individuals provided feedback on their learning, and some activities were also taken away to complete before the following session
Whilst eLearning conceptually enables self-managed learning time, CAYA aims to develop reflective practice; this group approach has enabled participants to share and reflect on their own experiences and how they have engaged with carers and families in their practice, deepening the learning. They can also go into the CAYA programme in their own time to review the session and to look ahead to the next session – having full access to the programme. They can also make notes on each screen page in the programme to aid their learning.
“…The London Borough of Islington has chosen the Care As You Are modular digital learning program to help us further develop the skills of our support teams. The design and approach allows us to provide further professional development for both new and experienced practitioners. The flexibility it offers provides us with both a self development learning process and an excellent facilitation support for virtual and face to face sessions.
We see Care As You Are as a key cornerstone for the development and training offered to our teams going forward...”
Heidi Rossetter – Practice Development Lead
Grow your own skills within your authority
Discover the transformative impact of the ‘Care as you are’ training program in supporting carers’ champions. By empowering those who support carers, we ensure that a network of compassion and understanding thrives. Through education and advocacy, we stand united in championing a brighter future for both carers and those who stand by their side. Get a demonstration of care as you are – and request access to the film.