The green graphic says Social Work Week 2024
Social Work Week 2024

Hull social workers experience new immersive VR headset training

Hull City Council have delivered a new and immersive learning experience to staff working directly with vulnerable adults and children with the use of virtual reality (VR) technology.

It comes as the council celebrates national Social Work Week, a chance to shine a spotlight on social work as a career and the incredible work of social workers across the country.

The council has been able to allocate virtual reality training through the Antser VR programme. The immersive nature of the Antser Virtual Reality (VR) programme allows the user to experience the impact of trauma, abuse and neglect through the eyes of the child.

The established programme is a clinically-led, technology enabled behaviour change tool. Born out of first-hand experience of the social care system, it helps to quickly deliver the knowledge, understanding and empathy that otherwise can take years to develop. The training programme closely follows the lives of children and young people from pre-birth to adolescence as they experience trauma, abuse and neglect, placing the user at the heart of their experiences through a series of VR immersive films.

Through the VR training, practitioners who work with children, young people and families will develop an enhanced understanding and empathy towards vulnerable individuals, ultimately challenging their own behaviour to better respond in ways that will prevent future trauma and damage.

Staff that work in adult social care will be encouraged to take up the training as well to help their approaches with adults who may have experienced trauma as a child. It’s part of the ongoing work to strengthen trauma-informed practice. The training is a new approach to learning and development which will help build empathy and understanding with the vulnerable adults they work to support.

The training was enabled by and funded through the Humber Social Work Teaching Partnership. Hull’s training was delivered by Learning and Development Specialist Trainers and a Family Practitioner, hosted with the council’s Social Work Academy.

Councillor Linda Tock, the portfolio holder for Children’s Services at Hull City Council said: “This training investment will aid our staff and partners in understanding trauma through the eyes of the child, helping us better support our children and young people in the long-term.”

The Guildhall in Hull.