Children are usually hospitalised during the acute stage of serious illness; but children are often sent home when their condition becomes chronic or when hospital treatment is unlikely to contribute to further recovery. Looking after a very sick child at home is enormously difficult for families, especially if they have limited infrastructure, little access to services and very few resources. Although there may be community workers who could help, few of them are equipped or trained to give advice regarding the care of very sick children.

This Home-based Paediatric Palliative Care Training and Support Package is designed to help train community workers who are in a position to support families to care for very sick young children at home. It is also designed to support families in looking after a very sick child. The comprehensive training and support package is presented within an adult-friendly learning framework that is accessible to a range of literacy levels. The underlying principle is to facilitate learning through practice in the home environment and build partnerships between professional health care workers, community and home-based care workers, families and other caregivers. The training guide contains practical guidance, techniques and tips. A unique element is the use of stories to facilitate the training; there is a story for each important message to make it easier to understand and remember. The stories in the manual can be replaced by other locally relevant stories with the same message and although the package is most valuable as a whole, parts of it can be useful separately.

The training and support package contains:

Guide for Home-based Care Workers. Groups of home-based care workers will be trained on the content of the guide and how to deliver the course. They will, in turn, use the guide to develop their own training sessions as well as in their own field work.

Training Manual for Home-based Care Workers. Home-based care workers trained as facilitators will use the training manual to train other groups of home-based care workers.

Caregiver’s Toolkit Once trained, home-based care workers will be able to provide caregivers at home with copies of the toolkit. The home-based care workers will use their own guide and training manual to make the caregivers familiar with the toolkit.

Helpful Handouts.The handouts contain important information and they are provided to home-based care workers who can give them to families to keep when they visit in their homes.

Information for Managers and Administrators. This information sheet is useful for managers and administrators who work with home-based care workers to understand what the course is about and what one can learn from it.

Evaluation of basic competencies. Managers and administrators can use this evaluation sheet to ensure that home-based care workers are fully competent in the practical and theoretical aspects of the course.

Training and Support Certificates. Home-based care workers and caregivers will receive course certificates to demonstrate the competencies gained in the various knowledge and skills areas included in this course.