An interview with home care specialists, Care2Care
Home care, otherwise known as domiciliary care, is where a range of care services are delivered in a person’s own home – offering them the opportunity to maintain their independence. For professional carers, this could be the most rewarding type of care as it enables them to enjoy time with clients in their own comfortable surroundings and build strong relationships based on trust. Clayton-based specialist Care2Care is amongst the region’s leading home care professionals, with a breadth of social care experience found throughout the organisation – from the leadership team to its dedicated care staff.
We spoke with Phill Lautmann, director at Care2Care, to find out more about the benefits of home care compared to operating within a care home, the organisation’s commitment to further training, and its emphasis on establishing strong relationships with its diverse client base.
At Care2Care, you opt to provide care in your client’s own homes. What are the benefits of this compared to operating at a care facility?
The opportunity for individuals to remain in their own homes cannot be overstated. Ensuring that with the appropriate and effective support, individuals can maintain a level of independence in their own surroundings and amongst loved ones. A careful approach is taken to ensure the process is unintrusive as possible. Before entering homes, our care staff are trained and guided to support with empathy, dignity, respect and build appropriate relationships. The overriding perspective should be that the individual believes that care staff are visiting and not just carrying out their role.
Can you talk us through the main branches of care offered at Care2Care?
Care2Care support individuals across a full range of ages and cultural backgrounds. Rather than terming it as branches, I would relate processes as a more explanatory term. We support individuals with personal cares and hygiene regimes, rehabilitation and enabling processes, and engaging socially by accessing their community, participating in enriching activities and experiencing inclusivity. We support people with managing domestic tasks, finances, and budgeting, ensuring that they can manage all aspects of their financial requirements.
Independence is a term often used in a care setting. How do your carers ensure that their clients maintain their independence where possible?
We see our role as one of empowerment, with individuals encouraged to make choices based on their individual preferences, and to retain their independence first and foremost. Our team are trained and mentored to build and develop effective relationships with the individuals they support, ensuring that any engagement takes account of the individuals’ unique preferences, and a clear understanding of what the day looks like. Staff are also guided to ensure that the individuals they support are encouraged to take control of their day-to-day activities and to take positive risks where appropriate.
Could you tell us more about your Train2Care arm and the facilities offered there?
Train2Care was established in 2020 and, as a direct result of our engagement in accredited training and development programmes, is recognised by the apprenticeship process offered by the Department of Education. Having delivered mandatory training, derived from the Care Act 2014 and the Skills for Care national minimum standards, since inception, we combined our experience and accreditation to enable Train2Care to facilitate training and development opportunities to partner agencies. We have an extensive range of training programmes that encompass mandatory, specialist and clinical training inputs. Our intention is to further develop Train2Care in the coming year and incorporate physical therapy within our portfolio, to address the lack of resource available to our clients who are unable to access this significant aspect.
How much value does Care2Care attach to upskilling its carers? How often does further training take place within the company?
In 2020, we partnered with a national vocational training organisation to embark upon the apprenticeship scheme. We were also very fortunate to establish a partnership with Santander, in receiving further funding for development training for our existing staff team. The evolution of “care in the community” has been vast with the requirement for care staff to engage in clinical support – behaviours that challenge and support to engage in daily living. We have enhanced our training offer to meet these demands, and alongside all mandatory training, we deliver specialist inputs to our entire team throughout the year. We are fully committed to respond to the demands of the sector, and consistently provide appropriate, effective, and relevant training.
There’s a large emphasis at Care2Care about clients consistently having the same carer and becoming familiar with them. How important is it to establish a strong relationship in that respect?
Our operational team leaders strive to develop consistency and continuity, as well as compatibility. On rotation, individuals have an expectation to be supported by familiar and consistent members of the team and that all of those supporting are aware of the individual requirements and the unique preferences. Our staff are trained and developed to understand that the care and support plans are one aspect of the process and ensuring that a strong and effective relationship is vital in assuring that the individual achieves the outcomes they require and those that they desire. The importance of building strong relationships is pivotal to a successful and rewarding process for the individuals we support.
Can you tell us more about the services you provide to young adults with learning disabilities?
In the main, we support young adults with learning disabilities through our specialist support team. Maintaining the ethos of supporting individuals in their own home, we provide 24-hour support to several young people with learning disabilities. We have bespoke teams to facilitate this higher-level support and many of those who receive specialist support, experience behaviours that challenge. The selection, training and development of our specialist support staff is a strategic process as is the timescale for transition and building of effective relationships. Success is measured over a much longer period and there is an element of storming, norming before performing. We also support individuals with shorter bursts into their community and have recently been tasked to support individuals back into their community, after the protracted isolation that was an outcome of the COVID-19 outbreak. As with all those who experience learning disabilities, it is a measured, graded approach, taking small steps to achieve outcomes.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The current situation for Care2Care is a progressive one and has seen significant growth. With this growth, comes a requirement to develop new and in some cases, innovative strategies to manage the operation. Accepting that growth has resulted in a swelling of the workforce, whilst understanding that physical resources are just one aspect. We have grown our management team to meet the increased demands, and our back-office team to support in the unseen components that underpin Care2Care. As well as our intent to develop Train2Care in the new year, we also became a licenced UK Visa sponsor in 2023 and are engaged in a number of projects associated with an overseas workforce.
We are carrying out significant research to develop a social enterprise project, which will result in an enriching, modern- and futuristic-day service, with access for all. Having won our first local authority contract in 2023, to support in the local community, we are about to embark on a tender for supported living. With the relative success of our specialist team, we are seeking to build on that, with the submission of this new tender.
As we approach our 10-year anniversary in 2024, we are certain that the journey has started as opposed to having already arrived. Our desire to strive for excellence and provide outstanding care and support, in all aspects of or work, is as strong as ever.
To find out more about Care2Care’s services and its training arm, Train2Care, or to contact the organisation regarding your own care needs, please visit www.care2care.uk or call them directly on 01274 880321.