Monday 08 August 2022

New Training Opportunity with IFT-Malta

 The Institute of Family Therapy -Malta is introducing a new training opportunity as from March 2019. The Certificate in Therapeutic Care with Children and Adolescents in Out-of-Home Settings has been created specifically to provide training for care workers already working in the field, as well as those interested to take up a new career. Carers will emerge from this unique training, more knowledgeable and skillfully equipped to work in such settings, enhancing and developing their practice. By providing in-depth exposure to the complexities involved when working with children and adolescents in residential settings, this training wants to support local care workers to be better equipped with the challenges this line of work involves. The Certificate in Therapeutic Care with Children and Adolescents in Out-of-Home Settings aims to be a concrete step towards raising the level of care given to children and adolescents to a professional standard,  in order for it to become a regulated occupation.

Fr Eric Cachia who has been Rector at St Patrick’s Salesian School for the past two years following over two decades of experience in youth ministry and in educational leadership set-ups says, “It is difficult to find trained carers and so it becomes encouraging to find people willing to explore this profession. The training offered is an opportunity which responds to the national standards policies as well as guarantees professional service to those in need. I felt confident in offering to collaborate with the Institute of Family Therapy – Malta on this course, by offering St Patrick’s premises for the training.”

He explains that he is witnessing an increase in numbers of children on the waiting lists for admissions into residential care. This apart from the fact that the challenges are changing from the traditional general out-of-home care to more specialised and trauma-informed therapeutic services.  “Out-of-home care is an opportunity where one provides stability, love and care to minors who had to leave their family of origin due to traumas or unstable/unhealthy family background. Training the staff starts with establishing a reflective mentality, one which helps the professional come in touch with the minors’ attachment and psycho-social development. The individual training fosters a sense of family and community spirit. Identifying the challenges and separating them from the individual is fundamental, so as to keep the therapeutic and caring process child-centred. Residential care cannot replace the family, but the social support workers or carers accompany the minors to create a sense of family and belonging. This implies a direct collaboration with other services and professionals. Training enables the carer to handle the awareness of how the brokenness of the vulnerable young impinges on us. Social support workers (carers) should not be concerned with  ‘containing a child’. Trauma-informed care encourages support and treatment to the whole person, rather than focusing on only treating individual symptoms or specific behaviours.”

The Certificate in Therapeutic Care with Children and Adolescents in Out-of-Home Settings is a one-year programme offering 30 ECTS and is ideal for individuals with an O’ level standard of education equivalent to Level 3 of the MQF, or equivalent qualifications, and  who are interested in extending their knowledge, skills and competencies in working with children and adolescents in therapeutic residential care. This part-time certificate is also designed to appeal to individuals who would like to keep their current employment and pursue their studies simultaneously. 

 Different teaching modalities will be used to appeal to students’ different ways of learning. Mostly didactic in nature, training will be held within an interactive lecturing environment and students’ participation will be heavily encouraged through eliciting discussions, role plays and exercises of an experiential nature. Student progress will be assessed via different modalities including assignments, presentations and group work.  Tutors on the course are all professionals with vast experience of working within the field of residential care with a minimum of Masters level of training.  The Course is accredited by the National Council for Further & Higher Education (NCFHE) and is rated at Level 5.

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