Thursday, January 08, 2009

Mentor Training in Addressing Challenging Behaviour

An Exciting New Concept in Staff Development & Support

Work with offenders, those described as NEETs, long-term unemployed adults and other marginalised and de-motivated individuals is a major focus of government policy. As a result, the need to manage challenging behaviour is increasingly recognised as an essential part of the teacher / trainer / supervisor skill set; however, the topic is rarely adequately addressed and newly qualified staff (Prison, Probation, YOT staff, Teachers and Trainers) often enter the workplace ill prepared. Many subsequently leave the profession or move to other learning environments where such behaviour and stress is less apparent. The associated costs are enormous.

In association with SWitch and Learning South West, in February and March 2009, Life Change UK will deliver 2 x 2-day pilot Mentor courses which will explore the causes of challenging behaviour and identify a range of strategies and interventions that encourage positive change.

The training, which is funded by SWitch, will enable participants to subsequently mentor peers and less experienced members of staff in the motivation of offenders / students and the management of challenging behaviour.

The training will promote peer mentoring and enhanced staff supervision within the work place by: -

· Identifying the components of ‘Core Beliefs’ and their impact on behaviour.

· Improving understanding on a range of behaviours and how to respond to them.

· Enhancing communication skills and learning how to build rapport to promote positive behaviour.

· Increasing understanding of the ways in which interactions with learners require different professional boundaries.

· Providing an opportunity to explore strategies and interventions that reduce stress, inform practice and increase confidence when working within a challenging environment.

Two months after each course, participants will be invited to attend a one-day follow-up group workshop where experiences of good practice will be shared. Over the period of the project, advice on urgent issues and mentoring support will be available to participants by telephone from Life Change UK staff.

The high demand for places on the courses further demonstrates the need for such training. An evaluation report of the training will be produced in July. Hopefully, having demonstrated the benefits, further funding will be made available for additional courses.