Care for Children’s country project teams have had to think on their toes over the last 18 months, rearranging their calendars, changing training programmes, and adapting to a more online approach to their work. There are internet hic-cups here and there but for the most part the training has gone ahead according to our original schedule.
As we continue to develop our digitalisation tools and strategy (which we started before COVID!), for our new vision for ‘a world of children in families’, we have also found it a useful insight into how online training could be managed. Here are a few reflections from the past 18 months:
Relationships are still our priority
Online training is making it possible to not only do the training, but also continue and even build relationships with the participants, even though we are not able to meet together in person. We can see that everyone is getting much more adept with their on-line training skills too!
Extra effort on both sides
One day the internet went down during a training session. Our training team had to request that the training be postponed that day, and were delighted when all the participants were willing to change their own schedules so we could fit the training in on another day.
Making it fun
Participants have expressed that they enjoy the training and our novel training atmosphere. Lots of fun tools, such as apps, that are used to make the training engaging and keep interest high. We have quizzes and competitions throughout the training and at the end of training week those who have earned prizes can expect to get a little surprise in the mail!
Keeping it real
Case studies are used so that the participants can see how the theory of running foster care is carried out in practice. For example, participants use these case studies to plan how they would run a foster care program. It is a great way to practice all the intricacies of doing recruitment, assessment, care planning, child and family preparation, follow-up and contact with birth families. We get lots of positive feedback from the participants and comments about how much they enjoy working with the case studies. They use the same case throughout each process, and it’s common to receive feedback from participants commenting that they almost feel like they personally know the child and family by the end of the training.
In one case in the Thai project, the training team were surprised and delighted to see how well the participants did at creating an on-line life story book. When they do this activity in person they can sit and cut out photos and draw, but since working online they have to use a different set of tools and skills – and the results were very impressive.
Thank you for your support and staying connected to our work.