Good practices

New skills and roles

A small family support service organisation has an all-female workforce who was suffering from a significant degree of stress and burnout due to the high emotional demands of the job. They needed to find a way to improve working conditions in order to reduce staff turnover.

Providing care to families in difficult situations requires a good balance of technical and interpersonal skills. The work can be isolated and put workers under a lot of emotional strain, added to which is the perception of lack of career prospects in this caring profession. The company developed a training scheme for workers to acquire new skills, with the aim of becoming “life coaches”. 

The “Life Coach” project had two aims. One is to give family assistants the communications skills they needed to deal effectively with the demands of their new role. The second is to provide them with a formally-recognised qualification. The training is voluntary for workers over 45, so it appeals to career carers. 

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