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Join us for next year's Transatlantic Practice Exchange

Blog posted by: Tasmin Maitland Tuesday, 6 October 2015 - 12:00pm

Following the success of last year’s exchange for US and UK based homelessness professionals, it’s time to start planning for 2016.

In 2014 our first five Transatlantic Practice Exchange participants spent a fortnight in the United States, exploring different practice topics and sharing this learning on their return. Thanks to further support from the Oak Foundation we are repeating the Exchange over the next three years in partnership with the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Each year five participants from across the UK will complete placements, and services here will host five people from the US.

Bringing trauma informed care to England – Jo’s exchange

Last year, Jo Prestidge worked with Center for Urban Community Services in New York to learn about their approach to supporting people with complex needs. Here's what she has to say about the experience, and how it's affected her work since then:

“I thought it might be a bit of a longshot requesting to go and learn about Trauma Informed Care, an approach I’d found out about on Google! It wasn’t one of the recommended practice areas but fortunately I was chosen to go and it not only helped me in my own practice, but I’ve now been able to promote it more widely; speaking at conferences, having blogs and articles published and more recently developing and delivering training.

“I’m so proud that this approach, which I wanted to learn about to meet a need I had as a frontline worker, is now one of the emerging good practices for addressing complex needs across the UK. The Exchange also enabled me to develop my skills and realise my potential in other areas. I’m now much more confident in public speaking, delivering workshops and training. My writing has really improved along with my skills in networking and influencing others.”

Read reports from all ten participants

Future leaders from across the UK

We’re particularly keen to see applicants from Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as English services based outside London, when the first application window opens in December.

In addition to sharing new approaches to ending homelessness, the Exchange aims to develop future leaders. Applicants will be working for a homelessness charity at senior support worker/junior manager or similar level. Our aim is to involve people who would not normally get the opportunity to study and travel as part of their job. You’ll need the support of your organisation in order to take part, so now is the time to speak to your managers about your interest in applying.

We’re developing core programme topics with the Alliance and I’ll blog again once these are confirmed. You’ll also have the opportunity to propose your own area for study.

Hold your horses!

Applications for the 2016 exchange open in December – but in the meantime:

  • Have a look at the reports and blogs from last year’s Transatlantic Practice Exchange participants.
  • Speak to your managers about your application – you’ll need time and support to share and develop your learning back in the UK, even if the placement itself is taken as leave, so their active support is essential.
  • Read about US homelessness and thinking about potential topics, especially how you might influence local or national practice on your return.
  • Stay up to date on announcements and deadlines – we’ll announce them all on our blog, so sign up for our news alerts to make sure you don’t miss them.


Channel website: http://www.homelesslink.org.uk

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