Free course designed for carers of vulnerable children

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People looking after or working with vulnerable children can benefit from a free online university developed course

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14th February 2017 by Susan Smith 29 Comments

People working or caring for vulnerable children are being encouraged to do an award-winning free university developed course.

The Caring for Vulnerable Children massive open online course (MOOC) is inspiring people to enter the caring profession as well as supporting child-care workers, teachers, nurses, kinship and foster carers, and adoptive parents.

Developed by the Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children In Scotland (Celcis) and the University of Strathclyde, the course explores the task of identifying and caring for looked after children in times of austerity and shrinking public services.

The course content was exciting and innovative and delivered in a flexible and easy to access format - Mum Fiona Tweedlie

So far, the MOOC, which is free to do, has had 48,000 participants from more than 145 countries.

Sixty per cent of learners joined online discussions during the first run of the course, which is hosted on social learning platform FutureLearn.

The course also scooped a Learning on Screen Award in 2016 for the video Billy’s story. The case study of 12-year-old Billy explores the risks and vulnerabilities he faces.

Claire Burns, director of programmes and services, at Celcis said: "At Celcis, we are committed to developing best practice to support vulnerable children, and we see encouraging the next generation of child-care workers as part of this journey.

"We wanted to deliver course content as accessible as possible to a diverse global audience. There is a real buzz around massive open online courses just now, hence why it was an obvious platform for us to deliver this course.

"The response from participants so far has been tremendous, and there has been demand for us to run this course repeatedly. For some, participation on the course has cemented their decision to enter into the child care profession, which we at CELCIS have been encouraged to see."

Fiona Tweedlie, a mother of five young children who took part, said: "The course content was exciting and innovative and delivered in a flexible and easy to access format. I loved the idea of flexible learning which fitted around my family life."

Enrolment is now open for the latest run of Caring for Vulnerable Children starting 27 March 2017.

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