We have been recognised as Investors in People!

We are delighted that we have been awarded accreditation against the Investors in People Standard for a second time, demonstrating our commitment to high performance through good people management.

Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results. Underpinning the Standard is the Investors in People framework, reflecting the latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Investors in People enables organisations to benchmark against the best in the business on an international scale.

Paul Devoy, Head of Investors in People, said: “We’d like to congratulate Liaise Loddon, Investors in People accreditation is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to success. Liaise Loddon should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Commenting on the award, Andrea Ede, Head of Learning & Development said “Having first gained accreditation in 2015 we are delighted to have retained the Standard for another 3 years.  Our co-workers are the heartbeat of the organisation, investing in them is key to enabling the adults we support to live the most fulfilling life possible”.

For more information, please contact people@liaise.co.uk

For more information about Investors in People please visit www.investorsinpeople.com

About Investors in People

Investors in People is the Standard for people management. The international people management Standard defines what it takes to lead, support and manage people well for sustainable results.

With a community of 14,000 organisations across 75 countries, successful accreditation against the Standard is the sign of a great employer, an outperforming place to work and a clear commitment to sustained success.

Based on a tried and tested framework and a rigorous process of assessment, organisations that meet the Investors in People Standard proudly display their accreditation to the world because they understand that it’s people that make the difference.

Since 1991, the standard has evolved to keep pace with modern practices. The current sixth generation was launched internationally in 2015.

There are four levels of accreditation; Accredited, Silver, Gold and Platinum.

 

Celebrating the positive

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……………that’s exactly what we have been doing recently.

 

 

The support teams within the Liaise homes have been “Focusing on the positive in those we support”. The use of the ASDAN Towards Independence Programme has enabled the homes to “Create a positive learning culture” in which everyone is aware of “clear, shared goals” with regard to individual’s interests and consequent learning opportunities. The consistent, regular practice of these clear, shared goals over the last year has resulted in a number of individuals achieving their ASDAN Awards in their areas of special interest – namely cooking, art and sensory activities.

Recently, Andrea Ede, Learning and Development Manager, and Linzi Holt, ASDAN Co-ordinator, joined these learners in Applelea, Cornview, Sansa House and Baytrees and presented them with their ASDAN certificates – some rather lovely cakes were also shared!

  Cornview     Applelea     Baytrees     Sansa

There was a joint celebration. This learning would not take place without the consistency of learning support from the support teams in the homes. To show Liaises’ appreciation of the commitment co-workers have put into getting ASDAN running in their homes, co-worker teams also received certificates.

Gary LaVigna visits Liaise

Last week we had a visit from Gary LaVigna, co-founder with Thomas Willis of the Institute of Applied Behaviour Analysis (IABA) in Los Angeles. The IABA was created to provide the most advanced and highest possible quality services to support people with developmental disabilities. Their training programme is based on the multi element model of positive behaviour support (PBS) which was adopted and integrated alongside PROACT-SCIPr-UK® by Liaise Loddon to form the basis of our own  positive behaviour support model.

Gary LaVignaGary delivered a talk to Liaise managers and specialist workers on functional analysis and focused support plans and gave us advice and tips on how to effectively implement successful support programmes. There was also a discussion on ensuring consistency in delivery by support teams and measuring outcomes.

The session re-energised us in our work to create the best possible positive and sustainable services for our service users.

Moving towards a Mindful Organisation

A few years ago, I was attending the annual Loddon Training & Consultancy Conference, and heard a presentation from Dene Donalds and Melanie Chapman on the increasing use of mindfulness practices in social care.

This struck a chord with me. I was intrigued and wanted to find out more.

So, a few days later, I found a local Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR) and started on a journey that has transformed both my life and my attitude to the workplace.

Being a natural sceptic, what has kept my attention is the increasing amount of research in this area. This is not some flaky, new age fad.

So, what is Mindfulness?

According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School,

“Mindfulness is the awareness that arises by paying attention,
on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally”

Sounds simple? And in some ways it is, but in others, it is really difficult. But when you do give yourself some time to stop and just pay attention to how you are feeling and how you are reacting to situations, then, it can be transformative.

There is lots of information on line about mindfulness, so I’m not going to go into more detail here for now. Check it out for yourself, or let me know if you would like me to write another blog on it!

Stepping Stones

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After my MBSR course and starting a journey of regular meditation practice, I wanted to find out more. So, I went back to University in Bangor for a year. Bangor University was one of the first places in the UK to set up a research centre to explore and develop mindfulness based approaches.

During the year, I have gradually developed my ideas on how we can integrate some of the ideas and concepts behind mindfulness into our work, mainly focusing on enabling and empowering co-workers to have the skills to manage the high stress situations that appear and also, to enjoy more the successes that happen in the present so much of the time.

We have now run a few general Introduction to Mindfulness Courses as a taster for co-workers from across the organisation and the feedback has been positive and encouraging.

Next Steps

So, what are the next steps?

I am setting up a small focus group of about 10 co-workers, who want to take the lead on how we develop mindfulness within the organisation.

The first step is to let them loose on a full eight week mindfulness course and then, once they have more information and can see for themselves what seems to work, then we can work together to provide a range of tools, training, skills, practices and ethics that will help us move forward.

This is not something that should be done in isolation. Nor is thing something that can be rushed.

We need to make sure that we can actually show that it works and makes a difference to the co-workers, and ultimately, the people we support. This will link into many other activities within the organisation, such as Driving Up Quality, Practice Leadership and the development of a Wellbeing Strategy.

It is not something that will change overnight, it might take a few years for positive change to happen but I hope that it will be an interesting and inspiring journey.

 “Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.”

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Psychology of Happiness


 

Deborah Cornick, Managing Director

 

Graduate Scheme for Social Care

Graduate Management Training Scheme 2016 – Trainee Applications Now Open

The National Skills Academy for Social Care’s Graduate Management Training Scheme is now taking applications from graduates for a place in the cohort starting in January 2016.

This is a great scheme, giving graduates who want to become leaders in social care the opportunity to benefit from an intensive year of practical experience and tailored learning and development, with a tax-free bursary of £18,000.

Liaise has previously hosted a trainee as part of the scheme, and we were very impressed with the quality of the scheme and the trainees – particularly our own trainee who stayed with us after the placement year ended.

Prospective candidates can find full details of the scheme and apply via the NSA website.

If you know anyone that may be suitable and interested, please share this with them.

Towards Independence – Learning through ASDAN

Circle of SupportEach individual has a Circle of Support which co-ordinates the assessment, planning, implementation and regular review of the support plan including the person’s flexible daily activity schedule.

The activities are selected to reflect what each individual is motivated by and enjoys doing and also to promote ongoing learning and the development of life skills.

As well as promoting greater engagement and independence these skills are also an important part of reducing behaviours of concern that can restrict the person’s opportunities.

The individual’s learning, where appropriate, can be delivered and celebrated through the use of the ASDAN Towards Independence Learning modules.

We are a recognised organisation to deliver both AQA Unit Award Scheme and ASDAN Towards Independence Programme.

Linzi Holt, one of our senior specialism leaders, is the recognised scheme co-ordinator for both. As a member we must comply with their procedures.

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Towards Independence

What is it?

“Towards Independence” provides a framework of activities through which personal, social and independence skills can be developed and accredited for those with severe learning difficulties (SLD) and profound multiple learning difficulties (PMLD).

Who is is for?

Post-16 learners

“Towards Independence” can be undertaken at colleges, residential homes, schools, day and care centres and across local authority and private provision.

Structure

Towards Independence offers formal recognition for small steps in achievement towards a larger goal.

Modules can be used separately and accumulated to build a record of personal achievements.

There are almost 50 different modules to choose from, and the first of these – Starting Out – is mandatory.  Working through Starting Out allows learners to be helped to recognise achievements and plan targets and challenges, which can then be developed through further modules.

Learning at Liaise – Over recent months learners at Liaise have been working on modules such as Making Pictures, Getting Ready to Go Out, Meal Preparation and Cooking, and Multi-Sensory Experiences

Starting Out works well at Liaise as it is a good practical Assessment and planning tool, and works well alongside other assessments such as the IABA La Vigna & Willis Behaviour Assessment Guide (BAG)or Liaise’s information gathering tool for person centred planning, “What’s Important To ….”

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Specialist Worker Training: What’s It All About?

Once we’ve put a programme in place for one of the people we support, that’s not the end of the story. People change, and circumstances change, so we’re continually monitoring our programmes to see what’s working well and what isn’t working so well.

We do a lot of observation to find out what our service users like and dislike, using photographs and objects to help them reflect on their experiences. And, where possible, we ask the person in question, too.

So how do the specialist workers and the people they support benefit?

The idea is that the specialist workers can decide what are the essential and best ways to review support plans by using recordings and behaviour data, by talking to colleagues – but also by looking at how the information is presented and to whom.

So far, Liaise’s specialist workers have had four sessions this year. Participation has been great, and everyone has worked very hard.

Participants have been analysing all the steps they need to review any and all aspects of a service user’s care and support plan. This might sound straightforward, but it actually covers the person’s whole life and lifestyle – including their health and wellbeing, goals and achievements, and the skills and positive behaviours they’re learning to replace challenging behaviours.

The specialist worker group identified that one of the most important elements of an effective review is involving the wider support team. Everyone evaluates what has worked and what hasn’t worked so well for each individual.

Direct support co-workers often know the individuals they support extremely well so they can be fantastic advocates when individuals need help expressing their views and wishes.

Everyone also agreed that involving the service user in reviewing their own support plan is also crucial, and should be the starting point in any evaluation. Sometimes the people we support can tell us what they like and don’t like about their lives when someone they trust asks them.

However, not everyone has speech or other ways of communicating, so they might need lots of help to understand what they’re being asked. This means we need to come up with more imaginative ways to get service users involved.

Specialist workers in the group have shared the different ways they’ve helped the people they support to express themselves. Here are just a few of those methods:

  • Creating a book of ‘things I like’ and choosing photographs of favourite activities, people and places.
  • Choosing which staff member they want to work with.
  • Keeping a daily diary by choosing a photo of an activity or experience they enjoyed that day.

In this way, we can make sure that everyone we support is getting what they need, when they need it.

Practice Leadership Project

Liaise is also taking part in the Practice Leadership Project with Roy Deveau, assistant research fellow at the Tizzard Centre, University of Kent. The specialist worker training is a great place to discuss the strategies each home will focus on as part of this project.

It’s a great opportunity to work on teaching skills to service users and staff alike – and the project has begun in earnest.

Roy is coming back to Liaise in October to see how we’ve been getting on. We’ll report back then!

Job of the Month May 2014: Support Workers

This month, we’re focusing on support workers in Romsey.

If you’re looking for a new and rewarding career helping to make a real difference in people’s lives, you’re in the right place.

You can find out more about what it’s like to be a support worker here – you don’t need any previous experience in the care industry. We’ll give you all the training you need to do your job brilliantly. You can find out all about all our  current vacancies here.

Don’t forget to sign up to our newsletter if you haven’t already – we’ll be able to let you know when vacancies come up.