Family Carers Ireland have partnered with Institute of Technology Carlow to deliver a new Certificate in Family Caring.
The course, launched this week, has been developed to provide family carers with the skills they need to care safely and confidently for a loved one at home.
The QQI Level 6 special purpose award helps participants develop practical care skills, design a person-centred care plan and enhance their skills in communicating effectively with other professionals to meet the needs of their family member or friend.
Three courses have been delivered this year in Bray, Limerick and Newbridge with a further six scheduled for 2020 in Dublin, Cork, Clonmel, Cavan, Roscommon and Mullingar.
The Certificate in Family Caring programme is being delivered through Institute of Technology Carlow’s Faculty of Lifelong Learning.
In line with the ethos of lifelong learning, participating family carers are empowered to engage in third-level education, giving them renewed confidence in themselves, their skills and their knowledge.
This initiative has been funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund administered by Pobal, without whose support it would not have been possible.
Speaking at the launch of the Certificate in Family Caring at Institute of Technology Carlow, Catherine Cox, Head of Communications and Carer Engagement with Family Carers Ireland said: "We are delighted to be partnering with IT Carlow on this newly developed QQI accredited Certificate in Family Caring.
"Family carers throughout their caring roles develop so many life and care skills that often go unrecognised; this training acknowledges and formally accredits this invaluable experience and wealth of knowledge.
"It also allows family carers to meet and provide peer support to one another thereby reducing social isolation whilst enhancing their caregiving skills."
"We are delighted to work in partnership with Family Carers Ireland in order to deliver the Certificate in Family Caring.
"The programme was developed in order to recognise the valuable role family carers play in the lives of their loved ones whilst formalising their skills in the area of caring”, Lindsay Malone, Deputy Head of Faculty of Lifelong Learning, Institute of Technology Carlow said.
Anyone looking for further information on upcoming courses can contact Family Carers Ireland Innovation & Programme Manager Bernadette O'Connor on 061 310 434 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Feedback from participants to date has been extremely positive:
“I left school at 16 thinking I knew best but always regretted not going on to further education. I have suffered with poor mental health and low self-esteem and was full of anxiety about starting the course. Having completed this course, I feel a new sense of confidence in myself and my ability to look after my loved one but also to look after myself.” (Mariann, Limerick).
“Since starting this course, I have realised that I am doing so much as a carer and how capable I am at interagency collaboration. On a daily basis I wear such a wide variety of "caps" in the sense that I am chemist, cook, cleaner, taxi driver, wife, healthcare assistant plus many more. I have realised how resilient I am and how I was always putting my needs last - but that has changed…” (Siobhán, Limerick)
“The course has given me a bigger insight into my role as a carer and my feeling of self-worth is improving. I love the fact that I am in college. Thank you.” (family carer, Newbridge course participant)
“I cannot recommend the course enough as it was an opportunity to meet other carers who face the same challenges as me and gained some valuable tips on communication and that I’m not just identified solely as a carer.” (family carer, Newbridge course participant).