An Exploration of the Sustainability of ‘Facilitation Skills for Health and Well-Being’ Training in the Out-of-School Sector

Lisa Harold

    Research output: Types of ThesisMaster's Thesis

    Abstract

    Youth workers require support to develop and enhance their interpersonal skills so that they can appropriately support some of the most vulnerable young people in Irish society. ‘Facilitation Skills for Health and Well-being’ training was developed with a view to build capacity among youth workers to appropriately manage the mental and emotional health issues of young people that they meet in their daily work. The theories examined in the literature were Transformative Learning (TL) Theory, Experiential Learning (EL) Theory, Diffusions of Innovations (DIT) Theory and Sustainability. A plan for sustaining the diffusion of the training was integrated into the training model that included the a) recruitment of experienced facilitators, b) training ethos c) syllabus delivered via the experiential learning (EL) cycle in the affective domain, d) use of an appropriate residential setting for delivery, e) duration of the training f) selection process for the youth workers and their organisations and g) organisational and environmental supports for youth workers. The youth workers’ experience of the training, the factors that influenced their experience and the integration of their learning into their work practice was evaluated. Grounded theory was used to analyse and triangulate data from multiple qualitative sources including: reflective logs, interviews, vox pops and a focus group. The results showed that youth workers underwent a TL process at a deeply personal level. This learning supported them to integrate the training into their work practice in terms of their capacity to a) self-care with respect to establishing boundaries and managing themselves with colleagues and students, and b) to bring enhanced awareness and facilitation skills to their teaching to the benefit of their students. Environmental supports that aided the diffusion of the training in practice included managerial ‘buy in’ and the presence of a colleague at the training. ‘Facilitation Skills for Health and Well-being’ training has been shown to be effective to generate TL that can diffuse into practice for the benefit of staff and young people. The findings from this study are relevant to practitioners elsewhere working with vulnerable groups.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    Supervisors/Advisors
    • Carroll, Paula, Supervisor
    • Loughnane-Barry, Mairead, Supervisor
    • O'Grady, Maeve, Supervisor
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Facilitation Skills, Out-of-School Sector

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