Expert Carer Training
Caring with Confidence Expert Carer Training across Lothian Pilot Project
This two year pilot, funded by Scottish Government, Souter Charitable Trust and PF Charitable Trust was completed in September 2009. Four carer organisations from Carers Trust’s network of carers’ centres took part in the delivery of the project: VOCAL – Voice of Carers Across Lothian, VOCAL Midlothian, Carers of East Lothian and Carers of West Lothian. A total of 18 courses were delivered across the four local authority areas of Lothian between January 2007 and April 2009. 159 carers in total received training on a variety of topics from ‘general’ caring aspects to condition specific or skill specific courses. The Princess Royal Trust for Carers in Scotland (part of Carers Trust) commissioned Glasgow Caledonian University to evaluate the effectiveness of the training.
Supported by a range of evidence, the evaluation found that ‘Caring with Confidence’ Lothian Expert Carer Training pilot project met its key aims and objectives. The evidence strongly suggests that carers had demonstrated gains in knowledge, skills, confidence and support. Though the benefits may have varied across the different courses, it appears that each of the courses had some beneficial impact.
Participants were very positive about the courses, finding them useful, informative and delivered in a way that met carers’ needs. After taking a course carers felt:
- More positive about their caring situation;
- More confident in their caring role;
- Caring had less of a negative impact on their physical health;
- More able to manage the caring situation;
- Less isolated;
- More supported;
- More confident talking with care professionals about what they needed;
- More positive about their financial situation;
- More knowledgeable;
- More skilled; and
- They gave a better quality of care.
Caring with Confidence Toolkit
A full guide to organising and delivering the programme of Caring with Confidence courses is available in the Caring with Confidence toolkit. This comprises of course information, templates for administration of courses and advice around training.
National Carers Organisations carer training
In August 2007 the Scottish Government indicated that they were making available £200,000 to fund a project on Carer Training and invited the partnership members of the National Carer Organisations (NCO) to submit proposals on how this money should be spent. The National Carers Organisations are a grouping of 6 national agencies and includes The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, Carers Scotland, The Coalition of Carers in Scotland, Crossroads Scotland, Shared Care Scotland and the Scottish Young Carers Alliance.
The NCO group met to discuss the practicalities of the funding and concluded early on that the money should be utilised in a way which helps carer service providers demonstrate how best training can support, benefit, empower and encourage carers, and ultimately meet their differential needs. It would also provide information which would inform a future strategy for best practice carer training across Scotland and build on earlier initiatives, for example, the “Learning For Living” programme and the Caring with Confidence - Lothian Expert Carer Training Pilot.
In the light of the limits on financial and time resources, it was considered that two areas which held particular challenges would be the most effective way of addressing the issues faced in the training of carers. The NCO group therefore decided to propose an overall project centred on carers within Black and Minority and Ethnic communities (MECOPP) and on carers in a remote and rural area (Highland).
For reports, appendices, and further information please visit the Carers Scotland website.