ABLE Homeless Initiative

People are empowered by being heard, understood and seen by someone they trust and rely on. But it’s important to have the skills to protect one’s own wellbeing too.

Our ABLE Homeless Initiative training course has been developed to support frontline staff working in the homeless sector. This four-day course offers a small group interactive training experience and provides 22 CPD hours.
We know the daily pressures faced by workers in the homeless sector. Taking time to reflect on the emotional toil of the work and managing your time and boundaries is vital to prevent stress and burn-out.
Many experienced homeless sector practitioners have engaged in our ABLE Homeless Initiative, including staff from Focus Ireland.
In 2018 we received a €5,000 grant from ESB’s Energy for Generations Fund to part-fund our ABLE Homeless Initiative training for 27 Focus Ireland frontline staff in Dublin, Cork, and Waterford. We were awarded the funding again in 2019. This covered Homeless Initiative training for 12 Focus Ireland staff. Due to Covid-19, Focus Ireland couldn’t release staff for the 4-day training in 2020 so we subsequently provided 4 virtual training places to their staff in 2020 and 4 in 2021 on our 3-day ABLE brief intervention training instead.

For further information please contact our office on:

How our training supports you

Our ABLE Homeless Initiative training helps you to:

  • Understand how childhood experience impacts on adult relationships through evidence-informed insight
  • Recognise and respond to service users when they are struggling to cope
  • Create a safe space to engage with service users
  • Use reflective listening skills to help service users talk about their worries and concerns
  • Nurture trust and rapport to build service users’ capacity and resilience
  • Manage boundaries to help to reduce depersonalisation and burnout
  • Provide peer to peer support

It gives you:

  • A framework for you to follow to manage your time and boundaries
  • A process to guide and support you via a brief intervention model
  • Insight to develop your reflective capacity
  • Knowledge to empower you to anticipate, recognise and respond to signals of relationship distress
  • Skills to help you to engage in a sensitive way and create a safe space for clients to share their worries and concerns
  • A strategy to enhance personal and organisational performance
  • Tools and resources to reduce stress, build resilience and protect your own wellbeing and time

How our training supports your organisation.

Insight into evidence-based knowledge:

  • Insight into evidence-based knowledge and the theoretical background of how childhood experience impact on adult relationships.
  • Enhanced development of professional practice and understanding of relationships as both protective and risk factors in improving health outcomes for clients
  • Improved understanding of relationship dynamics and insight into what might be going on in service users’ lives.
  • A shared language and common approach which supports a consistent and compassionate response to service users
  • Improved capacity to take a reflective approach to practice
  • Better time management and productivity
  • Clarity about role boundaries and competencies
  • Improved communication skills, particularly active and reflective listening skills
  • Increased confidence to be proactive, build rapport and establish trust with clients
  • Enhanced ability to empathise, engage and respond in a sensitive and proactive way, creating a safe space for clients to share their worries and concerns
  • More skills to empower clients to make their own decisions, building a narrative of hope and resilience
  • Enhanced personal and professional development, performance and wellbeing
  • Reduced stress levels from feeling overwhelmed or needing to “fix it”
  • Higher self-awareness into attitudes and perspectives which may influence interactions with clients
  • Improved quality of service and job satisfaction
  • The ABLE model can be used for informal peer support
  • Supports the principles of a Psychologically Informed Environment (PIE) by providing a reflective space for you to consider the emotions, personalities and past experiences of service users

How our training supports service users

A professional and caring response..

  • A professional and caring response that is respectful and appropriate
  • Feeling more empowered and capable of personal choices
  • The dignity that comes with being listened to and treated with compassion
  • Confidence that the practitioner is capable of hearing their story
  • Clarity around boundaries and personal responsibility
  • Increase in self-awareness and a wider perspective
  • A normalising of common concerns and feeling understood

ABLE Homeless Initiative Aims

  • Identify and evaluate the factors involved in creating and building a working alliance with service users and team members.
  • Outline and demonstrate the skills of the brief intervention model ABLE, building rapport and trust, listening reflectively and empowering the service user to participate in decisions and plans.
  • Identify the challenges service users may have in building supportive relationships and gain insights into what their behaviour may mean, using evidence-based information on Infant Mental Health, Attachment Theory and Brain Science.
  • Introduce the developmental stages of relationships, causes of conflict and use our ABLE model to respond appropriately, signposting when necessary.
  • Devise a plan to incorporate mentalisation in practice.
  • Gain a wide range of insights into the possible practical day-to-day applications of our training and ABLE model within the specific context of working with people who are homeless. This is achieved through participant delivery of case studies featuring their own application of the ABLE brief intervention model in their work with clients.
  • Explore the role that self-care and personal resilience play in service delivery and in ongoing personal and professional development.

Course Evaluation

This programme will be measured up to Level 4 of the Kirkpatrick Evaluation Model looking at the degree to which targeted outcomes occur as a result of the learning event and subsequent reinforcement.

“I thought it was excellent and I would recommend it. It equipped people with the tools and skills for listening and a greater awareness and understanding of what people are actually saying, and how important that is. We don’t get enough training that is relevant to our work and this was absolutely very relevant, and we could walk away from the course more equipped and confident to deal with people.” Tenancy Sustainment Officer Depaul Limerick.