ABLE Homeless Initiative

Training for staff in the Homeless Sector

At Ag Eisteacht, located in Cork, Ireland we offer tailored relational and resilience training for organisations and frontline staff working in the homeless sector.

Ag Eisteacht has trained over 230 frontline staff in the homeless sector across Ireland in the last 3 years through our Homeless Initiative. We have continued to develop this programme based on organisational feedback and in line with best practice.

In 2018 Ag Eisteacht are offering a tailored ABLE Training Programme to homeless sector organisations and regional groups. Ag Eisteacht work in collaboration with the group or organisation to identify their specific needs, and work with each organisation to support their team’s learning in practice.

The Ag Eisteacht Homeless Initiative is partly funded by the ESB Energy for Generations Fund.

Course Aim

The course is designed as a specific and targeted training programme for staff working in the homeless sector. It aims to enhance the development of professional practice and improve outcomes for service users.

This programme provides a deeper understanding of relationship dynamics and informs the practitioner as to what might be going on in service users’ lives. The evidence informed, accredited framework provides a process to follow when working with service users who are presenting with personal and relationship problems and who are struggling to cope. When delivered as part of an organisational / team approach it builds a shared language and common approach which supports a consistent and compassionate response to service users.

Who is the training for?

This particular training initiative is for staff within the Homeless Sector. Those who have attended the Homeless Initiative training to date have held roles ranging from CEO, manager, social worker, social care worker, advice worker, case manager, housing support officer, youth worker, information officer, administrator, project worker, and accommodation and support officer. There have been more than 30 different organisations represented on the Homeless Initiative training nationally.

How will the training benefit me as a frontline worker in the homeless sector?

  • ABLE training supports practitioners in two distinct ways. Firstly by exploring evidence based knowledge and the theoretical background of how childhood experience impacts on adult relationships. Secondly by using a brief intervention model to recognise and respond to service users when they are struggling to cope.
  • The programme also focuses on practitioner wellbeing and self-care. This includes using the ABLE model for peer support which can help mitigate against depersonalisation and burnout, which is an issue in this sector (Hickey 2012).

What is the impact for service users?

  • A professional and caring response that is respectful and appropriate.
  • Feeling empowered and capable of personal choices.
  • The dignity that comes with being listened to and treated with compassion.
  • Confidence that the practitioner is capable of hearing their story.
  • Clarity around boundaries and personal responsibility.
  • Increase in self-awareness and a wider perspective.
  • A normalising of common concerns and feeling understood.

Testimonials from participants who have previously completed training with Ag Eisteacht tailored for the homeless sector

“After 12 years of working in this sector it has relit the fire, bringing me back to the client.”

-Teresa Gilchrist, Manager Bethany House, Longford.

“Working with a group of nine, the week after training, I just kept rolling the ball back, it was very powerful. This is one of the best training courses I have attended, very well structured and put together.”

-Columba Heneghan. Addiction counsellor / Group Facilitator / Life Coach. Cuan Mhuire. Galway.

“I really feel that I have up skilled in a practical sense, not just me but the service that we offer. I put the training into practice at work on Saturday and it worked really well, giving the young woman time to tell her story has already made a difference, as the issue that we all thought was the main block in her moving on wasn’t the real issue at all. The listening and feeling comfortable in reflecting back has really helped her and me to mediate a situation. There is a lot of training that that I go away from and think is good, but rarely use. But I have already gotten much more than the cost of the course back.”

-Sharon O’ Flynn, Deputy Foyer Manager/ Training Coordinator, Cork Foyer.

“I thought it was excellent and I would recommend it. It equipped people with the tools and skills for listening, and a greater awareness and understanding of what people are actually saying, and how important that is. We don’t get enough training that is relevant to our work and this was absolutely very relevant, and we could walk away from the course more equipped and confident to deal with people.”

-Kay, Tenancy Sustainment Officer, St Vincent de Paul Limerick.

“I knew the different instruments but it’s knowing how the orchestra plays, I am familiar with the various skills and theories, but it’s how the Ag Eisteacht model brings them all together.”

-Michael, Counsellor, Cuan Mhuire, Bruree, Co. Limerick.

Course Evaluation

This programme will be measured up to Level 4 of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model looking at the degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the learning event and subsequent reinforcement.

If you would like to discuss your organisation or group’s training needs and the option of commissioning this training please call Stacey on 021-4536556 or email her on [email protected]

“Well worth doing”
Helen, Care and Support Assistant

“Informative, practical and powerful course. Instructors did a great job”
David, Care and Support Assistant

“Found the training very interesting and it has stimulated my interest in ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) and how they effect people”
Yvonne, Care and Support Assistant

“I would recommend this training to my colleagues. I enjoyed it a lot”
Care and Support Assistant

“Very important for our interventions with residents. Very relate-able to me both on a personal and professional basis.”
Tess, Care and Support Assistant

“This training was extremely relevant to our work and I would recommend this training”
Maire, Tenancy Sustainment Worker

“I will definitely be using the new skills I gained”
Liz, Contact Worker

It was informative, relate-able with useful tools. It also provided space to reflect and practise”
Julia, Project Worker