12th August 2016

Prepare to Succeed: Induction Training for Social Care Workers

"By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail..." So goes the Benjamin Franklin inspired adage, and it appears to be true in all walks of life. Preparation is key to securing good outcomes.

In recent articles I've been drawing lessons from sporting excellence and success by Welsh athletes and applying them to the care sector. So when I read a little about the life of long-time Swansea based Paralympic swimmer Ellie Simmonds, I was immediately struck by the way in which her life has been characterised by preparation.

Preparation and Commitment

In addition to being awarded an OBE she has won four Paralympic gold medals, thirteen World Championship titles, seven European golds and a world record in the 400m freestyle. The secret to her success? Moving home from the West Midlands to be close to the Olympic size, Wales National Pool when she was 11.  Here she was able to put in regular high intensity two hour sessions with the GB squad, which took her to the very top of her sport.

But there was more to it than that. The move was only made by Ellie and her mum, so she left behind her siblings and extended family whom she was very close to. Sacrifice, dedication, focus, training – the ingredients of preparation and the key to success.

Fortunately preparation needn't be quite so life changing, although it remains fundamental to success, and nowhere more so than in preparing new support staff for their roles. The selection and interview process will assure that an individual has the potential and right credentials for a care role, but once in post, they need orienting to the job in hand.

Support Workers

It is easy to forget that support staff need to be skilled and knowledgeable across a range of domains in order to perform well. They need to be interpersonally effective, understand the professional context and boundaries within which they work, have technical skills regarding administering medication and handling aids and equipment, be capable of reporting and keeping written records. And they need to be able to do this from the start, not attain these competencies in due course.

Social Care Induction Framework

In short, they need a good induction and training specific to the role. A good induction into the workplace is critical for social care workers in Wales. If done well, it can help new workers understand the importance of person-centred working and the values that underpin all work in social care right from the start.

In order to best prepare support workers, the Care Council for Wales has endorsed a training programme known as The Social Care Induction Framework (SCIF). The SCIF establishes a robust baseline against which new staff can function safely and effectively. It also provides a grounding from which staff can move on to QCF or other more specialised training.

With implementation of The Social Care and Well-being (Wales) Act (2014) and its emphasis upon person-centred support and care, there has never been a higher premium placed upon a knowledgeable, skilled and well-prepared workforce.  After all...preparation is the key to success!

Find free resources for The Social Care Induction Framework here: http://www.ccwales.org.uk/resources-for-the-social-care-induction-framework/

 

*All information is correct at the time of publishing

Nic Bowler

Welsh Care and Social Services Inspectorate Specialist

Dr Nicholas Bowler is a researcher and consultant to government-level [Welsh Government Review of Secure Services, 2009] – specialising in QA/compliance focused projects. He has interests in clinically relevant training, service development and research. He enjoys working with clients to support them in identifying problems and initiating projects to improve practice.

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