Social care worker's perspectives on reflective practice as part of the implementation of continuous professional development.
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This research measured social care workers’ perspectives on reflective practice as part of the implementation of CPDunder the following sub headings: •What is social care workers understanding and view on CPD?•Whatdo social care workers feel will be the challenges to engaging in reflective practice and the implementation of CPD?•What supports do social care workers need to engage in reflective practice and CPD? The research measured the views and feelings of socialcare workers towards the implementation of CPD. The challenges of CPD and supports that social care workers may require were measured and provided some rich findings. Social care workers perspectives and understanding of reflective practice were then measured in semi structured interview. Interviewees were asked to read a case study of social care worker who was involved in an incident with a resident in residential adult homeless service. The staff member in the case study has written a reflection on her experience and what she has learned from this. Interviewees were then asked about the reflection and reflective writing. The findings from the research provided great insight into social care workers perspectives on both reflective practice and CPD. It was apparent from the findings that social care workers rated reflective practice to be the most important element of CPD. However, in the findings social care workers focused predominantly on formal learning and training when referring to understanding of CPD. Overall respondents gave positive feedback on the implementation of CPD and the use of reflective practice, however some felt that there would be some resistance from staff. Respondents and interviewees both noted that time was an issue for CPD and reflective practice. An emerging theme of a predominantly positive effect on service delivery was noted as by interviewees. Furthermore, they highlighted that engaging in reflective practice and developing new ways of working will enhance quality of care. Respondents felt that training was a key element to CPD and also identified that participation in regular training could be a challenge. It was also evident that training writing. A strong theme emerged from the interviews around engaging in reflective writing. Interviewees felt that reflective writing will require training and mentoring as writing within the social care sector was predominantly for reports. Furthermore, it was found that there may be some resistance to this as it may not meet the learning needs of social care practitioners. It is apparent that social care workers may require some additional supports such as training to help prepare for both engagement in ongoing reflective practice and CPD. Management teams will also need support in being up to date with the relevant requirements and access to appropriate CPD supports. One interviewee was aware of the theories of reflection and the remaining six were not aware. Social care workers may require coaching and mentoring in reflective practice models. It is clear that the scope of this research is limited due to the size of the study and also was carried out in one organisation. It would be beneficial to measure the perceptions of social care workers across multiple sectors to see what they perceive as challenges and supports required.
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