28 01, 2019

Frontline workforce – it’s a question of pragmatism

By |2019-05-14T08:45:23+00:00January 28th, 2019|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , , |

Having purpose, an eye for detail and a sense of curiosity are the Fulfilling Lives workforce attributes I have flagged as desirable in previous blogs. Time is often at a premium for staff. Smaller caseloads and flexibility are ways of extending the time available to beneficiaries. Which brings me round to another attribute for the practitioner which, is pragmatism.

As I said in the item on curiosity, practitioners engaged with the evaluation of theory not only contribute to better practice but ensure theory is grounded in pragmatism. Thereby theory becomes better as well. People become less inclined to say: ‘that is alright in theory, but it doesn’t work in practice’. A pragmatic practitioner doesn’t just know the theory, but they act on it because it works.

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1 02, 2018

Frontline Workforce – it’s a question of curiosity

By |2019-05-14T08:36:25+00:00February 1st, 2018|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , , , |

At the centre of the Fulfilling Lives (Multiple Needs) programme is evaluation and here the workforce is on the frontline. For it is they who source, collate and complete the two key measures –  the Homelessness Outcomes Star and the NDT Assessment – with the service beneficiaries. Frontline workers say something they enjoy about the programme is the move away from a purely target driven approach. To make the most of this we need to make sure that the essential evaluation is not a chore. Not tasks that are completed as an add-on to a day’s work but ones that are integral to the way of working alongside beneficiaries and peer workers.

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15 09, 2017

Frontline workforce -it’s a question of detail

By |2019-05-14T09:12:44+00:00September 15th, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

I have blogged previously about purpose and it’s time to move on to the detail – where the devil lies (alongside salvation) . The question is how do we recruit, train, support and retain an effective workforce? A workforce with the knowledge, skills and experience to change lives and systems alongside people with complex needs including homelessness, offending, substance misuse and mental ill-health. One that supports people to overcome barriers to services and engagement. A workforce that is genuine and honest about the collaborative involvement of individuals with lived experience.

It is a big ask to come up with an exhaustive list of what the workforce does and how it goes about its tasks. Anyone that has spent time drawing up job descriptions knows the […]

31 05, 2017

Exactly what is it the frontline staff do that makes a difference?

By |2019-05-14T09:18:30+00:00May 31st, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: , |

Helen Gavaghan, Senior Engagement Worker at Inspiring Change Manchester (ICM), gives an inkling of some of the things workers do to support people to think about change. She says some ‘traditional’ approaches need challenging and staff freed up to be open about working with both their own and their client’s lived experience. She concludes by suggesting learning about what it is that staff are doing is collected and brought together as a tool-kit for other practitioners.

In the Fulfilling Lives (Multiple Needs) projects, when considering the learning that is being fed back overall, I feel there could be more detailed examination of what the frontline project workers do that makes a difference to people’s lives. I believe that there is some valuable learning that could be collected and shared […]

23 03, 2017

Frontline Workforce – It’s a question of purpose

By |2019-05-14T09:19:30+00:00March 23rd, 2017|Categories: Blog|Tags: |

Vic Citarella delves further into the significance of ‘purpose’ for service users and the workforce in the Big Lottery Fulfilling Lives (Multiple Needs) projects.

Indications are emerging from evaluations that the ‘purpose’ of each Fulfilling Lives project is very important in generating value and ownership. For beneficiaries, engaging in meaningful activities appears to create a vital sense of purpose. Equally for the workforces involved feedback suggests that the ‘purposeful’ nature of job roles generates added value and personal motivation. In my last workforce blog, I suggested that the value stemmed from four sources:

  • Meaningful service user engagement
  • Concepts of open-endedness and persistence (turned into practice)
  • The ideas around psychologically informed environments (PIE) and the like
  • Systems Change

In focussing on workforce matters in this series of blogs I have therefore dug […]

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