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Personal perspectives on the Care Workforce Pathway

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Care and support, Social care reform, Workforce

Social care colleagues will have better training, clearer career paths and improved job prospects following the announcement of government plans to develop the domestic care workforce.

The Department of Health and Social Care has unveiled a package of measures that will reaffirm care work as a career, including the Care Workforce Pathway, helping to recruit and retain talent by providing new, accredited qualifications, digital training and funded apprenticeships.

Individuals drawing on care services were just as vital contributors to the Pathway's development as care staff, providers and other sector partners. Jennifer Pearl is a member of Think Local Act Personal’s (TLAP) National Co-Production Advisory Group (NCAG) and has a spinal cord injury. She feels fortunate to have a good home care provider and explains how identifying the right values and behaviours are crucial.

Carer and care user shaking hands
"The assistance I receive lives up to the Making it Real statement: ‘I am treated with respect and dignity’." [Image created by]

Great care is built on mutual respect

I very much value the care workers I have, all four of whom are well trained and understand my needs. More than that, they respect me and see me as a whole person. They feel part of my family, supportive in good and bad times. When, for instance, my daughter rang from holiday to say she had got engaged, I cried. My carer was concerned, until I explained they were happy tears.

The assistance I receive lives up to the Making it Real statement: ‘I am treated with respect and dignity’. That has not always been the case and I know many people do not have such a positive experience. This was why I was pleased to be involved in the development of the Care Workforce Pathway.

I was invited to join the Department of Health and Social Care’s Expert Consultation Group for the Pathway. This was daunting at first, but I was reassured when, at my first meeting in a modern building, the IT crashed!

Being on the group was a good opportunity to share my personal experience of extensively drawing on both social care and health care services and from being an unpaid carer for a relative with dementia. Also, the insight I have from co-chairing Inclusion Barnet, a Deaf and Disabled People’s organisation, and my work as an Expert by Experience for the Care Quality Commission.

At TLAP, I was a member of a project group set up to bring together people who draw on care and support to hear their views on the workforce values they expect to see in the people supporting them. The process was co-produced and I enjoyed helping to facilitate the three online workshops.

Trustworthiness and flexibility were among the essential values identified. [Image created by]

Identifying values and behaviours

A large number of values were generated, but through a considered process we were able to whittle them down to a manageable number, taking the time to identify what people thought were the matching behaviours.  I was struck by how many of the values were universal, in that you can see them applying across the board, wherever you work, in whatever role. For example, that you are trustworthy and flexible.

But it was recognised it is not all plain sailing for care workers. I have to go to bed by 8.00pm because the care organisation providing my service cannot operate any later. This is not uncommon. As it is, the care worker who sees me in the morning at 7.00am very often also helps to me bed, many hours later. Care workers are also often rushed, which makes it difficult to express the value of empathy, if they are visiting one person after another.

Care workers need to be recognised and valued more. For me, this means better pay, but also things like having allocated time set aside for training and development. It is important to me the pathway is rooted in values people who draw on care and support see as important. It is also essential to me we invest in the workforce, so everyone gets the person-centred care and support we all want to see.

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  1. Comment by aldi maskumambang posted on

    It's heartening to read about the positive impact the Care Workforce Pathway is set to have on the social care sector, providing better training, clearer career paths, and improved job prospects for care workers. Jennifer Pearl's personal perspective adds a valuable dimension to the discussion, emphasizing the importance of values and behaviors in delivering quality care.

    Jennifer's experience highlights the significance of mutual respect in caregiving, with her care workers not only being well-trained but also understanding her needs and treating her as a whole person. The alignment of the assistance she receives with the 'Making it Real' statement—being treated with respect and dignity—is a testament to the positive outcomes that can result from a well-developed care system.

    Her involvement in the development of the Care Workforce Pathway, from being part of the Expert Consultation Group to contributing insights from her personal experiences, showcases the collaborative and inclusive approach taken in its creation. Identifying universal values like trustworthiness and flexibility is a crucial step in ensuring these principles are embedded across the care sector.

    Jennifer's candid acknowledgment of the challenges care workers face, such as time constraints and the need for better recognition, underscores the importance of investing in the workforce. This not only involves better pay but also allocating time for training and development. It's clear that a commitment to the values endorsed by those who receive care and support is fundamental for creating a pathway that leads to person-centered care and support for everyone involved.

    Read the full article [nusantara]( for a deeper understanding of the Care Workforce Pathway and the positive changes it promises for both care workers and those receiving care.

  2. Comment by NUSANTARA INDO posted on

    As someone who has experienced the vital role of care workers firsthand, Jennifer Pearl's insights are invaluable in shaping the Care Workforce Pathway. Her emphasis on mutual respect and the recognition of care workers as integral parts of the family speaks volumes about the human-centric nature of quality care. The collaborative effort to identify universal values like trustworthiness and flexibility underscores the importance of a cohesive approach in the caregiving profession. However, her mention of challenges, such as the early bedtime due to operational constraints, sheds light on the need for systemic improvements. Indeed, investing in the workforce through better pay and dedicated time for training is not just an investment in the individuals but in the overall quality of care and support. This article serves as a poignant reminder that the success of the Care Workforce Pathway hinges on aligning it with the values of those who rely on care and support, ultimately ensuring a more compassionate and effective caregiving experience for everyone involved. [NUSANTARA](