Education for personnel in the care for persons with disabilities, a sometimes invisible issue
Social Work Social Work Umeå, Sweden
The presentation consist of a research review which aims to analyse how education for care workers in elderly care and in the care for people with disabilities is studied in a Swedish and international context. My earlier research has shown that at a national level questions concerning education for care workers are more discussed and studied upon for personnel in elderly care than for personnel in the care for persons with disabilities.
The material consists of 46 articles, 28 from the disability sector and 18 from the elderly care sector. According to the analytical concept of shared value system, the reason to do research about education for care workers in the disability sector is grounded in the needs of the care recipients. Their quality of life is the most important motive for educating care workers. In comparison to the elderly sector, both the needs of the elderly and personnel are questions concerning further education.
According to issues of the practice, there were no studies in the research review that relate to national goals for initial education for care workers. In the disability sector, it seems to be that the norms for handling issues of education by educate already employed personnel. In these studies, the care recipients are involved in the educational activities. The trend is individualisation where personnel and care recipients undergo the education together.
At large, education for care workers in the care of disability sector is more discussed on a international level than in Sweden. Also, the question of education for personnel is on a more individual basis, where care workers learn together with the care recipient. Educational levels, the work environment and relations with colleagues and care recipients are connected and support from the managers is important for understanding the work and the relational perspective. I mean however, that it is important to include, in a much more legible way, the personnel in the care for persons with disabilities in the discussions about education in a Swedish context, both on a national level but also among social researchers.