On the 11th May 2016 we had a team development day in “The Experience” – an entertainment and events venue in West Scotland.
The focus of the day was for the team to come together to discuss how we can harness the skills, experience and knowledge of our foster carers and encourage them to share these with each other.
There were two main presentations during the day. The first was regarding the “Power of Words” and the importance of positive language and giving people positive feedback. The second was regarding the “theory of group work”.
With both of these presentations in mind we were able to think about the skills that our carers have and the roles that they could play in the development of a new group. Many of our carers have a variety of interests, skills and knowledge that other carers would benefit from having an opportunity to tap in to. We also thought about specific carers that would be skilled in facilitating and organising the sharing of the information.
We made the following decisions by the end of the day:
- We felt that holding a Fayre would be a good way of getting the majority of carers and children together to actively showcase some of their skills and talents.
- Everyone felt that a dedicated online network or online forum would be beneficial to carers. This could be used for advertising to a closed group of carers about outings, get-togethers and events in addition to sharing articles and information online.
- We all felt that in addition to online information sharing we should have a regular Face to Face group for carers and staff to attend.
- We thought that we should begin to set up an organising committee of carers and staff that could take a lead in organising and facilitating the group.
- The name of the group was also discussed. Ideas like “Conversation Café” and “Come share with me” came out and this will be decided at a later date.
The team have now begun to organise the Fayre Day. In preparation, we will be attending the carer support groups in order to identify carers that naturally take on the different roles that are required in order to build a self-sustaining knowledge exchange group.
The development day was a great success with really exciting, achievable and important outcomes. We look forward to working closer with our carers on these projects and will be sharing updates via our blog along the way.
Michael Birk and Nicola Taylor-Rowan
Supervising Social Workers
If this has inspired you to foster, please get in contact with us by sending us an enquiry, or by phoning us on 0333 240 9049.