How can training support high-quality arts in care homes? A reflection on our new report

It is five years since Consilium Research & Consultancy wrote their significant study, What do we know about the arts in the delivery of care?
Since then the field has developed considerably and we asked Penny
Allen, an experienced practitioner herself, to undertake a rapid review
of where we have got to.

Penny Allen’s insightful research reveals wide provision, serving both
the arts and care sectors, and poses some important questions about what
more needs to be done to support the delivery of high-quality arts in
this setting.

David Cutler blogged on 17th July 2018……

We would like to thank her for this insightful piece of research.
While not claiming to be comprehensive, it reveals the breadth of
provision, identifying 65 providers of training, interestingly serving
the arts and care sectors equally. The training examined here can be in
person or online. An astonishing 31 online toolkits were discovered;
most, I would suspect, developed in isolation from each other. Mindful
of this, we have asked Liz Postlethwaite of Small Things
to draw on these resources in producing a compendium of participatory
arts exercises for publication this year. The more recent development of
a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), developed by Created Out of Mind
and sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, is likely to garner a lot of
attention. Penny notes that the style of toolkit has tended to move from
making the case for arts in care homes to focusing on practical
exercises and tips.

The Baring Foundation has been an active funder in the field of
training for arts in care homes, often as one aspect of a broader
project. Examples have included cARTrefu in Wales, A Choir in Every Care Home, Luminate’s involvement in a resource pack in Scotland and our encouragement to the Social Care Institute for Excellence to sign-post care homes to resources via their extremely popular website. Training is a major strand of many of the 32 projects we are supporting with the Arts Council England in our Celebrating Age programme. We are pleased that we have now joined forces with Creative Scotland to support a major new initiative there involving Luminate and the Care Inspectorate.

The world of arts in care homes is a complex one in the UK with
different regulators, funders and providers in each of the four nations.
And beyond the complexity of mapping activity, there lie further
questions such as what is the level of demand for training from the care
and arts sectors and has this been adequately met. The author
highlights the issue of variation in quality of provision and argues
strongly for a system of accreditation, but more work would be needed to
assess the practical implications of this suggestion.

The need for quality arts in care homes is pressing and training is
key to fulfilling that need. Although progress has been made, this must
be regarded as unfinished business. This report should help us all
reflect on what more needs to be done.

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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