Establishing a Community Development Training Programme in the PiP Framework

6 June 2016

Establishing a Community Development Training Programme in the PiP Framework

A survey led by the SHSCT has identified demand and content for a Community Development Training Programme in the Professionals in Practice (PiP) Framework for Social Work

Community Development is a requirement for undergraduate social workers. The SHSCT, through a steering group comprising of health and social care, academic, and voluntary/community sector organisations has completed a study to identify the demand and content for a PiP programme in Community Development for Social Work.

The next step will be a meeting with the project lead, steering group representatives and Ulster University Community Development and Social Work Departments to provide a submission to prepare an accreditation application to NISCC. The target date for the new courses is September 2017.

Survey Feedback
This work began in 2015 and included a regional survey of social work managers to establish demand for community development training. This was followed by 6 regional focus groups to determine the most appropriate content for new courses.

• 104 managers responded; 92% from statutory sector, 8% from Voluntary/ Community Sector.

• 72% felt that there was a need for training in the use of CD approaches within SW for themselves and 92% for social workers in their organisation.

The survey provided evidence that CD would assist managers and social workers in partnership work; personal and public involvement; person centred approaches including self-directed support; critical thinking and improved outcomes for service users/ carers through contract management.

The survey provided clear demand across NI for PiP CD training for social work managers and social workers. Furthermore it indicated that short accredited modules no longer than 2 days be developed at Consolidation, Specialist and Leadership and Strategic level which could gain accreditation within the Professionals in Practice framework. A statement of intent to NISCC for the CD training programme, was submitted and approved following completion of the survey.

Focus Groups
Following a decision by the steering group to engage the Social Work and Community Development Departments within Ulster University, 6 regional focus group were held with 16 service users and carers and 31 social work staff and managers to determine the content for the new courses. Full detail of the survey and focus groups are available on

Service User/ Carer Involvement
Service users and carers from focus groups wanted to be involved as equals in the co-production and management of the course, to share “expert” experiences and training opportunities, and to be recompensed for their time. The importance of staff using community development approaches as part of self-directed support was highlighted. There was a recommendation that social workers at all levels should engage in practical projects as part of assignments and that they needed to listen carefully to service users/ carers.

Generic CD themes
Definitions; standards; values; principles; methods; history; theorists; service user/ carer models; partnership models; organisational governance; capacity building; funding; research; self-directed support ; person centred thinking ;leadership; volunteering; community planning; strengths based approaches facilitation, conflict management and negotiation skills; role of in prevention and early intervention; outcomes based accountability; cultural awareness training.

Thematic CD
Family and Child Care: Family Hubs, role of community support networks in safeguarding; Family Group Conferencing;
Mental Health: Recovery model; harm reduction; tackling stigma within community; Mental Health Hubs; signposting to community/ voluntary sector to meet needs of service users/ carers
Older People: Forums; Age Friendly; Good Morning/ Good Neighbour scheme; signposting to community /voluntary sector; grant aid ; Interagency work under community planning; intergenerational work
Disability: Signposting to community/ voluntary sector to meet needs of service users/ carers; summer schemes; social inclusion/ community integration; social enterprise; promoting health and wellbeing utilising leisure facilities

Voluntary/Community Sector:
Intensive Family Support Service; Multi-systemic therapy, Drugs and alcohol prevention/education projects including Ascert, Start 360, Include Youth
Justice Sector: Suitcase (voice of homeless); The Sanctuary Model- (Residential Juvenile Justice); Extern Recycling (Recycling and training project with ex-offenders and homeless people)
Education Sector: School Aged Mothers Programme

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