Thinking About Form and Function

A Simple exercise for Residential Care

This is a simple exercise designed to be used by support staff working in residential care home, specifically adults with mental illnesses, but other professionals may find it useful too. Simply ask each staff member to read the page on Form and Function, and then give them the questions below.

This can be set individually or as a group, but it works best if people work together to answer the questions in groups of 2-4. Why not try it at your next staff meeting? It should take between 30-60 minutes depending on how long you let the discussions go on for. Hopefully it will get your staff thinking and generate some good, cost-effective ideas for you and your service users.


Function First

Think of a group activity you do or could do in the future with the service users and think about its FUNCTION. What is the purpose of the activity and what outcomes are we hoping to achieve for those who take part? Will be beneficial to their physical wellbeing? Mental wellbeing? Self-esteem and sense of fulfilment? Boast there confidence? Teach them useful coping skills? Avoid a crisis? How will it improve their quality of life?


Now the Form

Now for that same activity think about its FORM. How can it best be incorporated into the existing routine in a slick and professional way? What do you need from the managers? Will it a one-on-one session or group session? Is it a scheduled session or one to be done when required? What equipment, information, and environment do you need to carry out the session? Do you need training before undertaking the session?


Putting them together

Write a short description of how a session could take place next time you are on shift, including times, locations, equipment and potential participants. Make sure both the Form and the Function are of a high standard.

Remember to write your answers down so you can remember all of your good ideas!

Have a look at what we came up with here.