Case Studies

Live Scenario training for Devon Social Workers

Live Scenario training for Devon Social Workers

Over the period 2012 to 2014 ignition were commissioned by Devon County Council Children’s Services to develop:
• Two units (Theory and Practice) in Motivational Interviewing for Families at Level 5 within the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF)
• Accompanying skills training for newly qualified social workers in their Assessed and Supported Year of Employment (please see case study for further details).

ignition won a second commission to support this work, to develop and deliver a programme of learning for ASYE social workers with learning outcomes to:

  • Develop their skills, knowledge and confidence in working in the complex area of child safeguarding
  • Have an opportunity to practise their skills in a safe but challenging environment
  • Experience a range of live scenarios related to children's social work tasks

Into the stretch zone

The Live Scenario training developed by ignition provided an immersive learning experience and asked ASYE social workers to step into their ‘stretch zone’ to test and develop skills. Actor-facilitators in role as service user family members presented tailored, responsive and flexible scenarios, informed by the learning needs of the individual. Engaging and interesting ‘active’ experiential elements in Live Scenarios include:

• Use of ‘half mask’ by facilitators as a concrete metaphor for levels of engagement or false compliance
• Providing feedback ‘in role’ from the perspective of the service user
• Coaching input to aid development of skills
• Use of active group exercises to enable consideration of relevant practice issues

The Live Scenario training was described as "innovative" by a 2012 Ofsted report, and comments from participants include:

"I found the training very helpful due to the practical elements and the space to reflect afterwards"

"An excellent course with an excellent team of trainers/facilitators. I have learnt loads. Thanks"

"It was very helpful that the characters were able to adapt their responses and the scenario to meet individual learning needs. Very good"

"Excellent training, highly valued"

"This has been an extremely valuable (+ sometimes scary) experience. I think it would be wonderful if this [training integrated with Motivational Interviewing] was mandatory for all social workers"

"Fantastic training that I feel really privileged to have been a part of. Without doubt the most useful training I have ever attended in terms of social work practice. So relevant for children's social work and can be used in Child Protection setting so well, which I was dubious about at first. All AYSE should experience this".

Overall evaluation from cohort 1 showed 100% of participants 'Satisfied' with 83% 'Very Satisfied'. Cohort 2 evaluation showed 100% 'Very Satisfied'.