Tag Archives: skills
Social care work – at the butt end of downward mobility
Vic Citarella postulates that investment in the social care workforce will improve social mobility
How does a country boost the standing of a workforce you may ask?
- Political leadership – lets have a Department of Health and Social Care with a minister to make real the paper policies of integration
- Professionalisation – lets demand a social care workforce that is competent, qualified and aspirational
- Personalisation – lets either commit fully to a consumer/user-led approach to the social care market or parallel the NHS with a National Care Service as suggested in 2009. The alternative is that market forces will entrench a two tier workforce. The privately funded care workforce having just low status over the very low of the publicly funded one.
- Pay – lets be honest and openly evaluate the rewards allotted to a care worker in respect of what they do. Lets challenge traditional job evaluation criteria that determine pay rates.
- Prices – let the market do its work and limit the local authority to inducing variety and policing local standards. We could move more rapidly towards a position where a local authority only makes the social care purchases when they have permission from the Court of Protection. Otherwise the actual purchase is undertaken directly by the customer or their agent albeit, in full or part, with public money.
- Public relations – lets get more media savvy about working in social care.
- People being able to purchase a safe social care service at transparent levels of quality and affordable price
- Protection for those lacking capacity
- A motivated workforce recognised for its skills
- Social care work as a badge of upward mobility and a unifying force in communities.
Vic Citarella and Debbie Sorkin Muse on Systems Leadership
Everyone has a system they favour, while it seems we all like to discuss a system. Plus, we all seem to know a better system then the one being used!
But joking aside, systems thinking is applicable in all walks of life and is the basic stuff of leadership. Here are our top ten systems thinking tips, we hope you find them useful:
1. Follow the money‘Make the money do all the work’ is a timeless truism (and may explain why good betting ‘systems’ are probably the systems most written about!)
2. Pass and move quicklyShort passes are often best; they really help build towards a goal – thus the Liverpool (FC) Groove and it works. Systems are made up of good habits that you repeat
3. Know when to get out of the wayHeroic leadership may not be in vogue right now, but the hallmark of a top person is someone who stands aside at the right time, in the right way and because it helps the system work well
|Stevie Gerrard’s Homework|
4. Understand place and spaceThere’s a time and place for everything; an observation that leads to real understanding of how systems work. In business they say never take your eye off the ball, but in systems it is what happens in the spaces ‘off the ball’ that matters as well…
5. Look good, but be effectiveSay no more – we all know what we are talking about here. Don’t be taken in by appearances and check the system does what it says on the tin
6. Always have a ‘Route One’ up your sleeveA system that gets the results in the most direct way is often a welcome option. Know the pitfalls
7. Put the time in to training and preparationSystems work best when they are looked after; true ‘fitness for purpose’ involves skills and leadership coaching
8. Always a marathon, never a sprintExcept when it’s not – always worth challenging a cliché. Horses for courses is your watchword here
9. Stick by your team-matesIn the world of systems we are all leaders and our behaviour as team members is critical
10. If all else fails – sack the managerSadly, even the most effective systems break down sometimes. Scapegoating rarely works, but systems which anticipate problems, learn from mistakes and plan leadership succession are a good bet to follow.
Why don’t you now help us by telling us what systems you participate in – and do you have any hot tips?
Mentoring – a personal support to Registered Managers
Richard Banks (CPEA Associate) reflects on developments from the Skills Academy
Tuesday 17th September a meeting called by the National Skills Academy for Social Care to think through how mentoring might be part of how Registered managers are supported. Mentoring has been a successful part of number of leadership programmes and in particular schemes for black and ethnic minority managers.
It was helpful to check the differences between a number of related methods of supporting managers such as supervision, coaching and counselling. Throughout the meeting we returned to the sad reality that many Registered Managers get little or no proper support and that any fine differences between methods such as mentoring and coaching would be difficult for them to get concerned about.
However there is no doubt that Registered Managers, who often report a sense of isolation and difficulty in gaining perspective on their life, would find mentoring helpful. Mentoring may be described as where a person can ‘take part in a voluntary mutually beneficial and purposeful relationship in which an individual gives time to support another to enable them to make changes in their life or work’ (Mentoring and Befriending Foundation). As with other proposed improvements we will need to incorporate it into whole system thinking. Certainly we will need to avoid that tendency, too often held in social care, which introduces a single improving component as offering magical solutions to the wide and complex needs of our sector.
That whole system question remains how we act to establish the entire social care workforce including Registered Managers as respected professionals that are properly remunerated. It was rather disappointing that the recent Cavendish Report on the health and social care work force did not extend its remit and recommend action on registration. Professional registration alone would not create the needed improvements for the social care workforce but it would be an important component of that change. As is being found in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland where registration is being planned for and being introduced. An important part of registration is the use of a code of conduct that covers both the individual staff member and the expectation on employers to provide supervision and management support. Cavendish did make a recommendation on this; saying the ‘Department of Health must review the progress of the social care compact: and substitute a formal code of conduct for employers if a majority have not acted upon it by June 2014’. Progress is being made here, lead by Skills for Care, with www.thesocialcarecommitment.org.uk
The Skills Academy will progress thinking about the use of mentoring and I hope the sector will assist in supporting that work. It particular helping to prevent the potential of mentoring being constrained or over burdened by setting training requirements, endless consideration about who might be allowed to do it and unnecessary bureaucracy. There was debate at the meeting on how far a mentor from outside of the sector could assist a Registered Manager. Given the need for social care to engage with the general public I would urge that opportunities to look outside the sector ought to be actively considered. The over riding issue should be the compatibility of the two people and the capacity to bring new ideas and different perspectives. One way to think about this would be to apply the ideas of personalisation. All the reasons why personalisation is a good thing for those people we support apply in similar ways to mentoring. Registered Managers can identify just what sort of support they want, when is the right time and the sort of person they could trust with their hopes and fears.
Breakfast with the National Skills Academy for Social Care at NCVO
Richard Banks of CPEA Ltd and SCA
About 15 participants – care home training staff, owners and a few consultants plus Charlotte Tuck a communication person from DH enjoyed an educated breakfast at NCVO this week. All the (non-edible) materials for the session can be found at www.nsasocialcare.co.uk
This was one of two NSA member events (another is scheduled in Sheffield on 30th October) to:
- Update on the social care climate
- Report on the survey of Registered Managers – ‘Everyday Excellence’
- Inform about the ‘Careship’ programme on leadership and registered managers with different descriptions aimed at different roles with in sector
- Report on research for NSA on care sector reputation – ‘Who cares’
- Advise on integration thinking with Skills for Care
Sir Stuart Etherington (CEO NCVO) provided a welcome to building and a summary of the environment for the charitable sector. After what might, in hindsight, be regarded an a era of growth the charitable sector he said it was now suffering from reduced giving related to recession and cuts in contracting as public sector reduce costs. Ideas of government about the ‘Big Society’ appear to have gone but he thought they did encompass hopes for increase in social investment, localism and public sector reform. The response of the charitable sector has been more mergers and a focus on core or particular successful areas of work. Sir Stuart acknowledged that the charitable sector were often pressed into contracting for poorly considered care services whereas good social enterprises had access to start up funds to support more radical redesign of services. He expressed a belief that the definitions between charities, social enterprise and public interest were getting blurred in people’s minds if not in legal status. He remarked on the success in changing government proposals that would have damaged tax on contributions.
Debbie Sorkin reminded us of demographic demand and that mismatch with public funding quoted David Behan ‘austerity is the new real’ and Clive Bowman ‘social care is being brutalised’
She thanked SCA for support on pointing out the need to focus on registered managers and introduced the report. NSA response is to support registered managers to overcome defensive practice (illustrated by a story about therapeutic use of pets being banned from a home after a dog tripping incident which caused no harm) and develop links into networks. Marcia Asare will be in charge of registered manager activity for NSA.
Discussion was about poor inspection practice on nutrition, lack of leadership from government but mostly focused on the positive ideas of networks for managers. Some interest was vocalized on ideas about registered managers as local resources (information on issues of ageing for example) but main focus was on dealing with isolation of managers and providing a source for sharing and gaining thoughts on good practice.