Communities of Practice (Part 1): Supporting people with complex needs throughout the lifespan

27 May 2022

By Lilly Trapp – Research Facilitator at Kent Research Partnership

Since the Kent Research Partnership launched in June 2021, we have been engaging with people who really know the adult social care sector – those who use services, carers, and the social care workforce – and asking them about their priorities for social care research in Kent.

One of my main motivations for joining the Kent Research Partnership was that I am a former homecare worker and, although I loved the role, I was often a bit frustrated that I didn’t seem to learn much about research and good practice outside my team or organisation, and also that other people seemed to have such a limited view of all that a social care career offers. I am, therefore, really excited that our Communities will be exploring both practice and people-focused research topics.

In March, we held our third networking event, bringing together everything we’ve heard over the past nine months to finalise and launch our two Communities of Practice:

  1. Supporting people with complex needs throughout the lifespan
  2. Enhancing, diversifying and sustaining the social care workforce

(If you missed the event, you can catch up here.)

Supporting people with complex needs throughout the lifespan

Many themes related to supporting people with diverse, evolving and complex needs came up at our first two networking events, whether that is the importance of good transitions between services, or how best to support those with Autism. All of these have been brought together under the umbrella – or ‘roof’ – of ‘supporting people with complex needs throughout the lifespan’.

We hope that the broad, overarching theme will be inclusive of a variety of interests, while more specific themes and sub-groups will emerge as the ‘rooms’ of the house. The importance of ensuring that the communities are inclusive, intentionally intersectional, and that they follow a genuinely co-produced approach came through very strongly at our networking events. Instead of making these into standalone communities focusing on diversity or co-production, these principles – along with that of a practice-oriented approach – form the foundation stones underpinning both communities.

I’m really looking forward to supporting the complex needs community and seeing how the members work together to develop their wealth of exciting ideas into practical, influential research projects.

Interested in joining our Communities of Practice (CoPs)?

If you are interested in finding out more about how the CoPs will work in practice, why not come along to the first meetings taking place in June? The focus will be on agreeing expectations and ways of working, and starting to translate ideas into tangible actions.

Next month’s blog will provide more information about our second community of practice: Enhancing, diversifying and sustaining the social care workforce. In the meantime, please feel free to register your interest for either or both CoPs here:

The first meetings of each CoP will take place in June – please register on Eventbrite to join!

Enhancing, diversifying and sustaining social care workforce: Wed, 8 June 2022 at 12:30 – 14:00

Supporting People with Complex Needs throughout the Lifespan: Wed, 22 June 2022 at 12:30 – 14:00

Hits: 110