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Workforce Development Fund For Care Home Owners

Workforce Development Fund For Care Home Owners

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is a significant source of financial support for care home owners in the UK. It is designed to facilitate the ongoing professional development of staff working in adult social care, thereby enhancing the quality of care provided to residents.

The WDF is administered by Skills for Care, a UK-based charity dedicated to workforce development in adult social care. The fund is made available to care home owners and other adult social care providers through a network of employer-led partnerships known as Employer-led Partnerships (ELPs).

The primary aim of the WDF is to support the attainment of regulated qualifications and non-regulated learning programmes by care home staff. This includes qualifications such as Diplomas in Health and Social Care, specialist qualifications for specific roles (e.g., dementia care), and continuing professional development (CPD) programmes.

The WDF can be used to cover the direct costs of learning, including course fees and registration costs. It can also be used to cover the costs of replacement staff (backfill) to cover for staff members who are undertaking learning. This makes it easier for care home owners to release staff for training without impacting the day-to-day operation of the care home.

Applying for the WDF involves a number of steps. Firstly, care home owners need to join an ELP or become an ELP themselves. They then need to complete a WDF acceptance form and submit it to Skills for Care. Once their application has been accepted, they can claim funding for eligible learning that has been completed by their staff.

It’s important to note that the WDF is a finite fund and is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Therefore, care home owners are encouraged to submit their claims as soon as possible after the learning has been completed.

The WDF represents a valuable opportunity for care home owners to invest in their staff and improve the quality of care they provide. By supporting staff to gain new skills and knowledge, care home owners can enhance their service offering, improve staff morale and retention, and ultimately deliver better outcomes for their residents.

However, navigating the WDF application process can be complex, and care home owners may benefit from seeking advice from Skills for Care or from other care home owners who have successfully accessed the fund. With careful planning and effective use of the WDF, care home owners can make a significant positive impact on their staff and residents.

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