Meet Dan Thorogood - Development Coach


Here's the next in our line of Q&A's with our team - it's great to catch up with Dan Thorogood, one of our Development Coaches to find out  why he chose this career, his experience of being a man in the industry and the importance of apprenticeships.

Hey Dan, thanks for the catch up - can you tell us what  you get up to in your role and what kind of area in care do you work in specifically?
I visit Residential Childcare homes to educate and assess a Learners development within the childcare sector, looking at areas such as Safeguarding, Risk Management, Assessment and Planning and Supporting Young People with their Care.

Was there ever a moment in which you decided the care sector was for you? What made you want to work in care?
I decided once I left college I wanted to go into teaching, so enrolled at university to complete Physical Education and School Sports. After working in schools for 4 years, I decided I wanted to do more to support the development of young people and children in all aspects of their lives, not just education, which led me to working in a Residential Home for 2 years.

What’s the most exciting part about your role?
The most exciting part of my role is working with learners that have a passion for supporting young people and children with their development and transition into adulthood.

How has your experience been as a man in care, within an industry where the majority of workers are women? Has this made a difference? Do you feel there is a stigma there that needs to be shifted?
My experience of working as a man in care has been a positive one overall, as I believe there is now a growing need for men to work in the care sector. In my residential care role I now feel there is a more even split between men and women working in the care sector.

How important do you think it is to have men working in care alongside women?
I believe that this is vitally important, as it encourages a more diverse attitude and delivery of care and support towards all young people.

What things do you wish you knew when you started working in care or as an assessor?
The one thing I wish I knew before I started is how all young people are different and do not respond to the same development patterns and the same approaches. Since entering the care system, I now believe that I have learnt many of the different techniques to support young people/learners and how developing and adapting my approaches can have a positive effect on all who I work with.

How important do you think apprenticeships are in providing an alternative to university education?
Apprenticeships are an amazing alternative allowing apprentice’s to learn on the job and isn’t all mainly dependant on how strong learners are academically. It also allows learners the chance to ‘earn as they learn’.

How similar would you say your role is to a teacher and what do assessors do differently?
The roles are similar to an extent in terms of assessing work that is submitted and supporting the development of learning. However, the difference with an assessor is that it can benefit learners more as we are able to visit their settings and take the work and criteria to them.

How do you prepare learners to work confidently and deal with difficult situations in care?

Preparation is key to a learner’s confidence, as the more they prepare for discussions and observations the more confidence they will build to complete these to the best of their ability. Offering support to the learners and drawing on my own experiences and those of the learner can also help them to understand the context of what is expected of them

If you could give one piece of advice to your learners and anyone looking to do an apprenticeship, what would it be?
Go with Busy Bees Training! We have assessors and support network that is key in order for learners to pass their apprenticeships. We also go over the top to offer great courses and flexibility in terms of completing apprenticeships!

Thanks for your time Dan!