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Connexus - Effective Support Worker Training

Another opportunity to continue our training with Connexus, working with a group of colleagues, the majority of whom were relatively new to their roles, which involved providing domestic abuse support across the locality in different ways, such as: support within refuge accommodation for women and children, women with complex needs, men, group facilitation and outreach services.

Within the sessions we explored core aspects of the support worker role, including key skills and knowledge, barriers to engagement, impact of trauma, reflective practice, SMART plans and multi-agency working. Group discussions provided opportunities for participants to reflect on their current practices and understand the importance of effective communication and working in a strength based and trauma informed way - whilst also recognising the impact of this work on themselves and how applying reflective practice is essential.

The different roles and experience within the group, created valuable conversations about good practice and internal systems and processes, which contributed to the identification of further opportunities for learning, together with improved peer support moving forwards.

The group shared the sessions offered a safe space to the also explore the challenges they currently experience, which create barriers to being able to implement their learning and be as effective as they could be in their roles. This included challenges such as limited inductions, insufficient training on day-to-day systems and processes, reduced capacity within teams, a lack of time to complete SMART plans, and inconsistent support/reflective practice – especially for staff who are working in a more isolated environment.

Participants actively considered and committed to actioning the changes they could make, to apply their learning to practice and drive positive change moving forward within their teams and organisation.


  • Very useful because it challenges support officers to take care of themselves first. The facilitator was amazing and very knowledgeable. It was great as we could speak openly about our experiences and off load.
  • Work more on support plans and be person centred when doing so.
  • Think more about SMART planning and making the support plan more useful to the client – client friendly.
  • I will encourage service users to be more proactive, instead of doing everything for them.
  • Very practical learning
  • Very fitting to my role and very beneficial