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Who's Challenging Who?

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We are starting a new research study, aiming to improve quality of supports for adults with learning disabilities who may engage in challenging behaviour by enhancing social care staff's understanding of the perspective and experiences of those who have been labelled as challenging. We have developed a free half-day training course (entitled "Who's Challenging Who" - WCW) for staff who work in residential settings with adults with a learning disability who may engage in challenging behaviour. This includes both residential care facilities and supported living services which offer 24 hour care (overnight care might be with sleeping/waking staff).

WCW was developed in collaboration with people with a learning disability. The WCW training is delivered by a trainer with a learning disability and a co-trainer who does not have a learning disability. Our approach is to help staff step into the shoes of people with a learning disability to understand the realities of their lives and how they can too easily be seen as a problem because of their challenging behaviour.

We have already piloted the WCW training with encouraging results. In our new project, we are testing on a large scale whether the WCW training is effective in improving staff understanding of people with learning disability and challenging behaviour, particularly the impact on empathy for the people's situation, and attitudes towards people with LD and challenging behaviour. We are also interested in understanding whether changes that staff make following the training might reduce the challenging behaviours that do occur in the residential setting.

We are now looking for 120 residential support services to take part in the training. Two members of staff (a manager/senior staff person and one other staff member) from each residential setting will be invited to attend the half day training, and asked to complete some questionnaires. The training is free, and also includes two telephone coaching calls to each residential setting taking part, to help integrate the learning from the training into the residential setting. The half day training course will be offered in various locations across the West Midlands, and we are happy for services from outside this area to take part in the project if they are able to travel to the Midlands for the training. The questionnaires monitoring the impact of the training will be sent by post, and the coaching sessions will be by telephone, so no other travelling will be necessary.

Interested in hearing more?

For more detailed information regarding the Who's Challenging Who? training and research, please see the study information sheet and leaflet (below).

If you would like to speak to a member of the research team directly,

please contact:-

Samantha Flynn, Research Assistant, by email:, or by phone: 07823 362152