An important component of all projects implemented by Caritas Ukraine is the constant improvement of professional level of employees, various seminars and trainings, that help workers to keep abreast of modern approaches to social work, develop practical skills in counseling and working with clients.
Since November 2015, with the support of UNDP, Caritas implements the project “Implementation of Case Management Approach to Work with IDPs” (within the project ‘Rapid Response to Social and Economic Issues of Internally Displaced People in Ukraine’). The project is implemented at the regional offices of Caritas in Kiev, Odessa, Kramatorsk, Dnipro and Zaporizhzhia. From June 2016 its second phase has begun. Project activities are planned not only to support 352 families among the IDPs, but also to improve skills of 32 case managers during three-day training.
In early August, all case managers had the opportunity to participate in training ‘Solution Focused Brief Therapy’. Its main objective was to familiarize participants with the basics of this approach, to work out counseling skills using techniques of short-term therapy. This approach is relatively new area of consulting, focused on problem solving. Participants acquainted with historical prerequisites for development of the method and its fundamental principles. But special attention was devoted to development of practical skills of counseling different groups of clients: affected by depression, violence, physical or psychological trauma, addiction, and so on.
“Participants gained practical skills and toolkit, which will be enough for counseling with brief therapy method – says administrator of the project Anna Homenyuk. – In addition, these techniques are effective in the most cases of working with the client. Case managers of the project previously received training on the main principles of the case management, social work and supervision. It is very useful to deepen their skills. In addition to training, each employee will receive 2 personal supervisions from our experts Taras Bryzhovaty and Oksana Volhina. It helps to improve level of service continually.”
Instructors paid special attention to practical orientation of training. It included not only mini-lectures but also interactive and role-playing exercises, presentations, discussions, individual tasks and work in small groups. Participants enjoyed a new method that helps to diversify counseling and to understand clients’ needs better. “We received consultation structure, a special protocol, and it is very helpful for us. In the work of case manager, it is very important to integrate the idea of using human resources and strengths, lack of confrontation. Learned technique can be easily adapted to our work with a client,”- said Rodion Reshetnikov, case manager of CF Caritas Odessa UGCC.”
Caritas approach aimed at professional development of staff and the use of innovative techniques approved by representatives of UNDP. As Olena Savchuk, specialist in case management, legal and psychological services of UNDP, noted: “Case management is one of the leading areas of the second phase of assistance to IDPs funded by UNDP. Caritas is unique in active use and even improvement of this approach in other projects of the organization. In addition, of all our grantees Caritas invested the most in staff training. I am confident that the skills gained during ‘Solution Focused Brief Therapy’ training will increase potential of participants and improve their ability to cope with complex situations of clients.”
The Project ‘Rapid Response to the Social and Economic Issues of Internally Displaced Persons in Ukraine’ is implemented by UNDP and funded by the Japanese Government in partnership with the Government of Ukraine, regional and local authorities.