identify sources of support for own learning and development
There are many sources of support that you can access and many different ways that you can help yourself, when developing your practice. The appraisal or supervision system in your workplace can be a good starting point. [ This will help you to identify areas of your practice that need to be developed, and to plan to use opportunities for training and development. Some employers provide
appraisal at six-monthly or 12-monthly intervals, but supervision should be at least once a month. This gives you a good opportunity to use the experience and knowledge of your supervisor to help you plan how to move forward in your practice.
Make sure that you are well prepared for sessions with your supervisor so that you can get maximum benefit from them. This will mean bringing together your reflections on your own practice, using examples and case notes where appropriate. You will need to demonstrate to your supervisor that you have reflected on your own practice and that you have begun identifying areas for development. If you can provide evidence through case notes and records to support this, it will assist your supervisor greatly. Your supervisor’s role is to support and advise you in your work and to make sure that you know and understand:
• your rights and responsibilities as an employee
• what your job involves and the procedures your employer has in place to help you carry out your job properly
• the approach to social care where you work – that is, the beliefs, values and attitudes of your employer regarding the way that people are supported, and how you can demonstrate values in the way you do your work
• your career development needs – the education and training requirements for the job roles you may progress into, as well as for your current job.
Informal support networks are likely to consist of your work colleagues. These can be major sources of support and assistance. Part of the effectiveness of many teams in many workplaces is their ability to provide useful ideas for improving practice, and their provision of support when things go badly.
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