It’s My Life! Decisions, Capacity and Education, Health and Care Plans

As part of a recent project, we developed interactive training with Face Front Inclusive Theatre for voluntary sector professionals on supported decision making for disabled young people and those with special educational needs.

Disabled young people and those with SEN have a legal right to participate in making decisions about their lives. We know from our membership networks that voluntary sector organisations want to support and empower young people and families to have their rights respected, but due to limited resource often cannot attend the crucial training they need to take this forward.

Our innovative training used performances to explore the experiences of young people and their families and demonstrates practical aspects of rights based decision making, as well as key legislation, such as the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Adapted from previous successful It’s My Life! training with social care practitioners and families, this project employed interactive training to empower voluntary sector professionals in supporting families.  

CDC, FaceFront, and Baring Foundation logos

Our approach

The voluntary sector is facing significant increases in demand for its services, at the same time it is dealing with a reduction in funding and resources, and opportunities to access training. In order to reach and train as broad a range of professionals as possible, we designed the project to employ three different modes of training delivery:

Face to face training: a full day, interactive session was delivered in September 2017 for voluntary sector professionals. This session involved the Face Front Inclusive Theatre actors, and engaged professionals with the materials and learning through forum theatre.

Interactive webinar: a short, interactive webinar adapted from the face to face training and filmed live by a film crew was held in December 2017.

E-learning webinar module: a free to access e-learning module developed using the video from the live webinar. This module allows professionals to interact and to take part in activities in a similar manner to the live event, whilst seeing the responses and feedback from professionals who interacted with the live session.

Utilising these three different modes of training enabled us to reach a greater number of professionals, providing greater flexibility and opportunities to engage.

A FaceFront performance

The result

The project was intended to build knowledge, skills and confidence in voluntary sector professionals to support disabled young people and those with SEN to make decisions.

There were three key outcomes for the project:

  • Reducing discrimination and disadvantage: Voluntary sector practitioners have increased knowledge of relevant legislation and increased awareness of young people’s rights and aspirations minimising discrimination and/or disadvantage as a result of this;
  • Rights-based approaches: Voluntary sector practitioners and their organisations have improved knowledge, understanding and confidence in delivering inclusive, supportive, rights-based practice related to decision making for disabled young people and those with SEN;
  • Improved life chances for disabled young people and those with SEN: disabled young people and those with SEN and their families experience improved outcomes through their views being listened to and valued and by being fully supported to participate in decisions about their lives.

The NCB Research department are conducting an evaluation of the project to gauge the impact of this project for attendees, to provide evidence for future training and to enable us to tailor future projects to meet voluntary sector professional’s needs. The evaluation will measure the impact of the three modes of training, enabling us to compare and contrast the effectiveness of different methods for practitioners.

You can access the webinar here, until January 2019. This project was kindly funded by the Baring Foundation.