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Voluntary care organisations across Scotland are to receive a share of £1 million from the Scottish Government to boost staff training and development.

A total of 77 small and medium-sized voluntary organisations will receive a share of approximately £1,013,000 from the Voluntary Sector Development Fund, with those benefitting including children’s charities, mental health organisations and care groups.

They will use this to help frontline staff meet the registration standards set by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and gain more than 900 qualifications so that Scotland’s care sector continues to develop a confident, competent workforce that can provide the best possible support for vulnerable people.

Children’s Minister Adam Ingram said:

“Scotland’s voluntary care organisations have a key role to play in ensuring that our most vulnerable people receive the high quality support and care they need. I’m therefore delighted that this year we have been able to fully meet the funding requests of all those organisations who applied to the fund and met the eligibility criteria.

“By investing in the qualifications and training of staff in those organisations, we are helping to develop Scotland’s workforce, while also helping to raise care standards and promote continuous learning. This is important for ensuring all of us, our family, friends and the wider community, get the sort of support and services we need and which Scotland deserves.”

Frank Doherty, Learning and Development Manager for the Mungo Foundation, a voluntary organisation responsible for the delivery of community based care and support services, said:

“It is with great pleasure and much appreciation that we accept this funding to aid the continual mandatory training courses for Mungo Foundation employees. This is an invaluable source of funding which guarantees that our organisation has a properly qualified and trained social care workforce.”

The criteria for the fund is decided each year in partnership with a representative of the voluntary sector, the Chief Executive of the Scottish Social Services Council, the Director of the Voluntary Sector Social Services Workforce Unit and representation from Scottish Government.

The fund aims help voluntary organisations meet the registration requirements set by the Scottish Social Services Council and can be used directly to fund/support new training and development needs associated with those requirements. This year it will support the following qualifications: 131 x SVQ2; 140 x SVQ3; 153 x SVQ4; 46 x Professional Development Award in Supervisory Management; 104 x Leadership and Management for Care Services and 36 x HNC.

All care workers, including those in the voluntary sector, are expected to meet the standards for SSSC registration. Further details of the registration criteria are available on the SSSC website.

The fund was open to eligible staff from voluntary organisations in care home services for adults, residential childcare, housing support services, day care services for adults and care at home services. In previous years we have only been able to partially meet some of the bids received. On this occasion we have been able to provide a 100 per cent of what was asked for as long as the relevant criteria was met.