The poverty sensitive practice training session has the following learning outcomes:
- Raise awareness of poverty
- Reduce poverty related stigma
- Support poverty sensitive practice
- Raise awareness of how to signpost people to sources of support
The training was pursued as part of the implementation of Dundee’s Fairness Strategy. Much had been done to raise awareness of the impact of welfare reform but little work had been undertaken focusing on the negative attitudes towards people in poverty that can sometimes be demonstrated by service providers and perpetuated by the media. Local engagement showed that how people are treated by services affects their likelihood of using them, meaning that people in poverty can be inadvertently discriminated against or find it difficult to get the support they need. Service providers have requested support to develop skills to deal with disadvantaged people sensitively and appropriately, and to assist them to signpost people to other services that can improve wellbeing and life circumstances.
In developing the training session, the Equally Well and Welfare Rights teams worked closely with the Dundee Partnership team and Organisational Development to ensure strategic fit, appropriate targeting and additionality.
The teams met frequently to plan the session and drew on their training experience to design exercises that focused on:
- exploring what poverty means and attitudes towards poverty
- using evidence in an interactive and creative way
- helping participants to put themselves in the shoes of people in poverty, exploring what it feels like to have limited choices and be treated unfairly
- using the My Wellbeing web pages as a route to information about services
- video clips of people affected by poverty and discrimination
The teams piloted the session and continue to refine delivery and materials based on feedback. There have been barriers in attracting those people who would benefit most from the training and discussions have taken place with senior managers on how to target priority service providers. As the session was heavily oversubscribed in 2015, a greater number of training sessions will be delivered in 2016. A new development is the design of a workshop to support others to use and adapt the materials in order to roll out the training with their own colleagues and clients. Interested parties so far are Education, Dundee and
Angus College and the Directorate of Public Health.