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More than £70,000 awarded to help train social care staff

A scheme which helps train adult social care staff has received more than £70,000 in funding to enable workers to develop their skills.

County Durham Care Academy, which was launched by Durham County Council in 2019, has secured £72,490 from the Workforce Development Fund (WDF).

The investment will be used to support the training of adult social care staff across County Durham, helping local care providers to cover the cost of upskilling their staff.

It is the third year the Care Academy has been successful in being awarded funding from the WDF to support care providers in the county. The level of grants has grown each year, from an initial award of £44,000 to £70,000 last year.

The Care Academy was launched by the council to improve skills and capacity within the care sector. This is done by offering support across a range of areas including training, service delivery, digital initiatives and the recruitment and retention of staff. It now also supports children’s social care providers.

Cllr Chris Hood, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “This latest funding award is a significant investment which will help to make care staff in County Durham even better in their roles.

“We know how important it is to offer this type of training to workers in the social care sector, as it means they feel more valued and confident in providing the services they offer. I’d encourage any social care providers interested in applying for funding to join the Care Academy and find out more.”

Crescent Homecare is one of the care providers that made good use of the grant last year to support the development of its workforce. The company gives people care and support to live independently in their own homes for longer.

It offers home care services which include personal care, assistance to get to appointments and social trips, as well as meal preparation.

The Workforce Development Funding grant helped a number of the company’s staff achieve Level 2 diplomas in health and social care. One member of the team has completed their Level 5 diploma in leadership and management for health and social care and young people services. Another worker has completed their BTEC Level 2 in understanding the safe use of medicines.

Geraldine Raggatt, director of Crescent Homecare, said: “We are delighted to have received funding from the Workforce Development Fund towards our staff training, it has made a huge difference to our company. The training has supported our staff with the skills and knowledge to deliver outstanding care to our service users in the community.

“The Care Academy has been absolutely brilliant and has supported and guided us with our claims process, which was very easy to complete.

“I would urge any care providers which have not already made a claim to support their training to do so.”

The Workforce Development Fund is administered through Skills for Care and funded by the Department of Health and Social Care. The fund is part of a broader range of training and development opportunities being rolled out in County Durham for local social care providers.

The funding can be used towards the cost of staff completing qualifications, learning programmes and digital skills modules.

To apply for funding, adult social care providers must first join the Care Academy. To request a membership form, email careacademy@durham.gov.uk

More information about the Workforce Development Fund is available at www.durham.gov.uk/wdf

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