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Care training courses can be found all across Ireland. The best place to find care training is at Social Care Training Ireland, as we arrange qualified courses at a location of your convenience.
The professional qualification is currently a 3-year Ordinary Degree. Many qualified practitioners go on to complete an Honours Degree in the field, and some may progress to postgraduate qualifications. Diploma and degree courses in social care are offered at the Institutes of Technology in Athlone, Blanchardstown, Cork, Dublin, Dundalk, Limerick, Sligo, Tralee, Waterford, and at the Carlow College, and through the Open Training College (based in Goatstown, Co. Dublin).
The government has indicated that in the near future all those wishing to work in the social care field will have to be professionally qualified – the Ordinary Degree in Applied Social Studies (Social Care) will be the basic entry qualification.
A course of study in Social Care typically includes subjects such as sociology, psychology, social administration and policy, principles of professional practice, law, creative skills (art, drama, music, dance, recreation) and research methods. Many courses offer specialised modules in particular areas.
A key element of studying to be a social care practitioner is involvement in a number of supervised work practice placements of several months duration. Some students already working in the field (‘in-service students’) build on their existing skills by following a carefully supervised programme at work.
Social Care students are challenged to develop academically through deepening their knowledge, professionally, by learning and practicing social care skills, and personally, by developing a capacity to look at their own strengths and weaknesses in relation to the work.
Most social care courses actively recruit mature age students (23+ years) and those who have completed relevant QQI and BTEC courses within the further education sector.
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There are a multitude of care training courses available online at Social Care Training Ireland. For a list of social care courses and more information on training, please visit: www.socialcaretraining.ie/courses
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Care training is a form of learning which focuses on developing awareness on the part of service provider to delivering acceptance, interest, affection, empathy and warmth towards young people and provide a therapeutic and caring environment to keep young people comfortable.
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The purpose of the TCI system is to provide a crisis prevention and intervention model for residential child care organizations that will assist in:
- Preventing crises from occurring
- De-escalating potential crises
- Effectively managing acute crises
- Reducing potential and actual injury to children and staff
- Learning constructive ways to handle stressful situations
- Developing a learning circle within the organization
The primary legislation regulating child care policy is the Child Care Act 1991 which was amended by Children Act 2001 to allow for a Special Care Order in addition to the orders already in place from the 1991 Act.
The Children First Act 2015 put Children First National Guidelines on a statutory footing in regard to child welfare and protection and in 2015 The Child Family and Relationships Act was passed but has not been fully implemented as of 4th August 2016.
Duty of Tusla
Tusla has a statutory duty to promote the welfare of children who are not receiving adequate care and protection. The definition of a child is a person under 18 years of age who is not or has not been married.
When carrying out its statutory duty, Tusla must have regard to the following:
- It is generally in the best interests of the child to be brought up in his/her own family
- Having regard to the rights and duties of the parents, the welfare of the child is the first and paramount consideration and that, as far as is practicable, the wishes of the child should be considered.
Among other things, Tusla is required to:
- Identify children who are not receiving adequate care and protection and to co-ordinate information on children from all relevant sources.
- Provide child care and family support services with the aim of helping parents to care for their children and to avoid the need for such children to be taken into care.
- Prepare an annual report on the adequacy of the child care and family support services.
If a child is in need of care and protection and is unlikely to receive it at home, then Tusla must take them into care. This may happen for example, in the case of an orphan or an abandoned child.
In other cases where parents are unable to cope due to illness or other problems they may agree to their children being taken into the care of Tusla. This is known as voluntary care. In these cases while Tusla has care of the children it must consider the parents' wishes as to how the care is provided. Tusla is obliged to maintain these children for as long as their welfare requires it. At present there are over 5,000 children in care in Ireland; the majority of whom are in voluntary care.
There are a number of procedures which Tusla can use when dealing with children who are at risk or who are in need of care. Tusla may apply to the courts for a number of different orders. These orders give the courts a range of powers (including decisions-making), about the type of care necessary and about access to the children for parents and other relatives. The following is a summary of these orders:
- Emergency care order - maximum of 8 days in care
- Interim care order - maximum of 8 days in care but may be extended
- Care order - can continue up to age 18
- Supervision order - maximum of 12 months but may be renewed
- Interim special care order - maximum of 28 days but may be extended
- Special care order - maximum of 6 months but may be extended.
In general, the various orders involve the child being taken into care by Tusla. A supervision order however, involves the child being visited and monitored in their own home by Tusla. See "Further information" below on the various orders.
Separate representation for the child
The court must make all decisions on the basis that the welfare of the child is paramount. With this consideration in mind the court may order that the child be joined as a party to the care proceedings. This means that the child has separate legal representation paid for by Tusla. If the child is not a party to the proceedings the court may appoint a guardian ad litem to speak for the child. (A guardian ad litem is an independent person appointed by the court to represent the wishes and interests of a child in specified court proceedings).
Family Welfare Conferences
The Children Act 2001 provided for family welfare conferences for children at risk from their own behaviour and these provisions came into effect in July 2004. The family welfare conference is a mechanism for early intervention and the conference may be convened where:
- Tusla is directed to convene it by the Children Court or
- Tusla is of the view that a child requires special care or protection which he/she is unlikely to receive unless a special care order is made
The function of a family welfare conference is to decide if the child is in need of special care or protection and if so, to recommend to Tusla that it applies for a special care order. If not, the conference may make appropriate recommendations to Tusla, including, if necessary, a recommendation that Tusla apply for a care order or a supervision order. The conference decisions must be unanimous and if it is not possible to get agreement, Tusla must make the decision.
The conference may be attended by the child, the parents or guardians, any guardian ad litem, other relatives agreed by the co-ordinator after consulting the child and the parents, Tusla officials and any other person who could make a positive contribution because of knowledge of the child or the family or because of particular expertise. When Tusla receives the conference recommendation, it may:
- Apply for a special care order or
- Apply for a supervision order or a care order or
- Provide any appropriate help or service for the child or his/her family
Family welfare conferences have legal privilege - this means that any information, statement or admission disclosed at such a conference will not be admissible in evidence in court.
Children in Tusla care
When a child is in the care of Tusla there are a number of different ways in which care can be provided. Whatever kind of care is chosen Tusla must facilitate reasonable access for the parents or other relatives of the children in its care.
Where possible Tusla places the child with foster parents. The Child Care (Placement of Children in Foster Care) Regulations 1995 require that a care plan for the child be drawn up which sets out, among other things, the support to be provided to the child and the foster parents and the arrangements for access to the child in foster care by parents or relatives. If there is a shortage of foster parents however, children may be placed in residential care instead.
Residential care can be in a home run by Tusla, a children's residential centre registered under the 1991 Act, a school or other suitable place of residence. The Child Care (Placement of Children in Residential Care) Regulations 1995 state the requirements for the placing of children in residential care and the standards for residential centres which are registered with Tusla. The centres are subject to inspection by the Health Information and Quality Authority.
Special Care Units
Children taken into care under special care orders or interim special care orders are place in special care units. Tusla may provide and maintain special care units or make arrangements with voluntary bodies to provide and operate them. All centres are subject to the approval of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs. The Minister makes regulations dealing with the detailed operation of such centres. Children who are convicted of an offence may not be placed in special care units.
Placing children with relatives
The Child Care (Placement of Children with Relatives) Regulations 1995 make provision for relatives to receive an allowance for caring for a child placed with them by Tusla. The regulations set out the arrangements for the placement and are broadly similar to the Foster Care Regulations.
Tusla can provide further assistance to young people up to the age of 21 who have been in care. This assistance may include arranging accommodation or contributing towards maintenance while the young person continues at school or college.
Pro-social behaviour is referred to as behaviour or actions which benefit other people or society as a whole. Examples of pro-social behaviour include activities such as helping, caring, sharing and volunteering.
Social workers are either professionals or volunteers who engage in the practice of social work. The goal of a social worker is to improve the quality of life and well-being of an individual, group or community. The social worker’s role is typically to manage the ‘case’, for example by arranging the residential care placement in which a child is placed, coordinating case review meetings and negotiating the termination of the placement.
Most social workers work for government offices, hospitals, clinics, prisons, nursing homes or group homes. The duties and functions of a social worker often include:
- Conducting interviews and counselling individuals, families and groups.
- Coordinating responses between civic, governmental, medical and other organisations.
- Assessing social needs and developing care response plans.
- Referring clients to professional care or community care services.
The Freedom of Information Act 1997 allows young people in care homes to access age-appropriate information on their files.
Self-harming happens when individuals cause themselves physical pain which alters their state of mood. Some individuals harm themselves because they feel disconnected and isolated from everybody, and hurting themselves is the only way they feel real or connected.
The aim of child protection training is to enhance awareness and encourage good practice for all individuals who come in contact with children. Child protection training prepares an individual for a variety of settings, including schools, youth programmes, family support centres, community groups and residential child care centres.
People injure themselves to relieve, express or control themselves from overwhelming emotional pain or psychological distress. The practice of harming oneself is called self-harm and is often described as a maladaptive attempt at self help.
Self-harming behaviour may include:
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Habitual drug addiction
- Randomly hitting objects to cause injuries
- Incessant smoking habits
Manual handling training teaches the use of the human body to lift, lower, push, pull, carry or empty loads. Manual handling is particularly used in industrial sectors including manufacturing and warehousing, retail, construction, agriculture and also the health care sector.
Yes, there are several courses on personal development training and some of these training courses are listed as follows:
- Personal Development and Counselling
- Self Advocacy
- Leadership skills
- Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
Some of the popular diploma courses which are required to train social care workers are presented here in the following list:
- Diploma in Personal Development & Counselling
- Diploma in Holistic Counselling & Psychotherapy
Yes, there are several training courses on soft skills development. The following list of courses, educate individuals in developing their soft skills:
- Introduction to Team Working
- Introduction to Diversity
- Introduction to Communication
- Introduction to Quality Systems
- Health and Safety Awareness Programme
- Environmental Awareness Programme
A few specialised programmes for young people are as follows:
- Intensive home schooling tailored to each young persons' needs
- Individual behaviour support plans
- Daily and weekly plans
- Social skills programmes
- Language support work
- Therapeutic care services
Social work is a professional and academic discipline which seeks to improve the quality of life and well-being of an individual, group, or community by social intervention.
Social workers are classified into the following fields of care services:
- Child, family, and school social workers
- Medical and public health social workers
- Mental health and substance abuse social workers
Most social workers work for the government in offices, hospitals, clinics or in care homes. The duties of social workers are as follows:
- Interviewing and counselling individuals, families, and groups.
- Assessing needs and developing response plans.
- Referring clients to professional or community services.
- Coordinating responses between civic, religious, governmental and other organisations.
The TCI (Therapeutic Crisis Intervention) system assists social care organisations in the following ways:
- by preventing crises from occurring,
- by de-escalating potential crises,
- by managing acute physical behaviour,
- by reducing potential and actual injury to young people and staff,
- by teaching young people adaptive coping skills and by developing a learning organisation.
The mission of Social Care Training Ireland is "supporting excellence in care provision". For more information, please visit: www.socialcaretraining.ie/aboutus.php
Using aggression with the intention of hurting another person is known as bullying. The practice of bullying is an offence and is penalised by law.
Positive youth development aims at developing disadvantaged young persons by connecting them to the right combination of care opportunities, positive roles and social relationships.
Some training programmes which teach therapeutic care to individuals are listed below:
- Direct Therapeutic Work Programmes
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Programmes
- Psychotherapy Training Programmes
- Anger and Mood Management Programmes
- Systemic and Family Support Programmes
- Individual and Group Therapy Programmes
- Play Therapy Programmes
- Art Therapy Programmes
- Addiction Counselling Programmes
- Social Skills and Self-esteem Development Programmes
Residential tutors are usually skilled and qualified in the following fields of Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Social Care, Applied Social Studies, Youth-work, Nursing or Teaching.
Independent living skills are those skills which help individuals in setting-up their own lives. Some examples of independent living skills are as follows:
- Opening a bank account
- Applying for a passport
- Completing a CV
- Gaining a better understanding of using the Internet such as booking flights etc
- Budget Monthly Household Needs
The Child and Family Agency was established on the 1st January 2014 and is now the dedicated state agency responsible for improving wellbeing and outcomes for children. It represents the most comprehensive reform of child protection, early intervention and family support services ever undertaken in Ireland.
Brokers are social workers who help individuals, in need, by providing information about obtaining resources. In the social work profession, brokers assess situations, provide individuals with social care services, make referrals and follow up to evaluate their efforts with needy individuals or clients.
Advocates are social workers who speak on behalf of the needy in order to bring about change, impart justice and take action. In the social work profession, advocates act as spokespersons for individuals in need and help protect their rights.
Brokers and Advocates, in the social work profession, help facilitate the aim of the social work profession - "to help people obtain resources."
Conveners are social workers who promote discussion, integrate planning and mobilise networks for effective delivery of social care services to groups and organisations. In the social work profession, conveners use networking strategies to bring together a representatives of a community to address collective goals.
Mediators are social workers who resolve arguments which arise due to conflicts of interest. In the social work profession, mediators use their skills to negotiate differences and resolve conflicts. Mediators remain neutral, at all times, during disputes.
Conveners and Mediators, in the social work profession, work with groups and organisations to coordinate resource distribution, identify gaps in delivery of social care services and encourage preventive actions.
Activists are social workers who mobilise resources, build alliances and lobby for legislation. In the social work profession, activists create just social policies, empower community-based efforts, help resolve community issues, redress social injustice and help generate social reform.
Activists, in the social work profession, alert the general public about social problems or injustices and gather support to alleviate these conditions.
Catalysts are social workers who provide expert testimony and lobby at the state and federal levels. In the social work profession, catalysts initiate, foster and help sustain co-operation to highlight client, local, national and international issues.
Catalysts, in the social work profession, team-up with other professionals to develop humane delivery of social care services, advocate just social and environmental policies and support views which acknowledge global interdependence.
Teachers are social workers who provide educational information which helps resolve issues and prevents other difficulties from emerging. In the social work profession, teachers impart education via means of client–worker conferences, in formalised instructional settings or in exercises such as role plays.
Teachers, in the social work profession, empower client systems with information, aimed at stimulating competent functioning in all domains of living.
Trainers are social workers who make presentations, serve as panellists at public forums and conduct workshop sessions. Trainers perform assessments of staff-development needs, asses clear goals of what organisations seek and evaluate a process to impart successful training.
Trainers, in the social work profession, act as educational resource specialists for formal groups. Trainers select methods and resource materials based on research about adult education, attitude change, and learning modalities.
Outreach workers are social workers who disseminate information to inform the community about public and private social service organisations and enhance the accessibility of social care services. An outreach worker increases public awareness of issues such as poverty, health care, disease control, stress, etc... and stimulates support for preventive actions via multi-lingual announcements.
Outreach workers, in the social work profession, inform a variety of audiences about social problems, describe social injustices and suggest services and policies to address these issues.
Researchers are social workers who contribute to the social work profession by conducting their own empirical research and sharing their findings with fellow colleagues in the social work profession.
Scholars are social workers who critically examine the social work literature to integrate research findings with the practice of social work. Scholars contribute on research which is related to human behaviour and the social environment and also on social care service delivery, social welfare policy and intervention methods.
Researchers and Scholars, in the social work profession, gather professional knowledge and scientific research to enhance the practice of social work by social work professionals.
The attitude with which social workers treat care patients with consideration, respect their uniqueness, appreciate the validity of their perspectives and listen carefully to what they have to say is meant by respectful interaction.
Brokers or Advocates are social workers who function at the micro-level of the social care system.