'Good practice in involving families in your workforce development' was a project to identify good practice of involving family carers of people with a learning disability in workforce development.
The project was commissioned by the workforce lead of the Valuing People team, and ran for six months. It was supported by an advisory group made up of family carers and carer organisation representatives.
A report collating seven examples from local authorities, health, training and support providers and identifying common principles of good practice is now available to download.
It details how involving families in workforce development can support organisations achieve CQC outcomes, and can help organisations have a healthier, more committed and involved workforce, save money and develop supportive relationships with families built on trust.
More about the project
Good practice in involving families in your workforce development' addressed the commitment laid out in the government white paper ‘Valuing People Now', to ensure "greater involvement of people with learning disabilities and family carers in all aspects of workforce planning and development."
Community empowerment is also a key part of the coalition government's concept of a ‘big society' where local people and communities work together towards a stronger future. Family carers are part of the community who use social care and health services, and the project looked at how using their knowledge and expertise to develop workers can empower them.
With this framework in mind, the project identified examples of good practice in involving family carers in a range of workforce issues, such as:
- workforce planning and recruitment
- induction of new workers
- training of students and professionals
- development and delivery of training and qualifications
- staff recruitment, appraisal and assessment
The project compiled seven good practice examples, and through in-depth interviews outlined the process that each went through in involving families, the challenges faced, impact made and future involvement.
The project team drew out the key themes identified by the good practice examples, and identified the links between involving families in workforce development and achieving CQC outcomes. They also spoke to some family carers about their negative experiences of organisations' ‘tokenistic involvment' of them in workforce development, highlighting the damage this can do to families' relationships with and trust in providers of services.
We will be taking forward what we have learnt from this report to look at how we involve families in our workforce development, as well as encouraging others to do the same. Families are an equal and invaluable partner. Our workforces - and families' confidence in them - can be all the stronger when we work together.
Mark Goldring, Mencap's chief executive
The project advisory group was made up of family carers and representatives from PRTC/Crossroads and the National Family Carer Network. We also worked with the National Valuing Families Forum, West Midlands Workforce group, FLASh group (Families Lobbying and Advising Sheffield) and Bill Mumford, chair of MacIntyre, and Voluntary Organisations Disabilities Group (VODG).
The advisory group ensured that families were at the heart of the project, and that we ourselves were modelling good practice.
Who to contact
For further information about the project, please contact:
Families and communities project manager