Through the use of our 360 immersive films and virtual reality headsets, our training and recruitment model for adoption and fostering allows parents and carers to experience life from the perspective of the child. This unique approach to tackling issues around children’s social care is ground-breaking and offers a different way to understand the impact of attachment and trauma – through the eyes of the child. The content for the interventions and the films have been created with careful consultation from clinical professionals such as Dr Matt Woolgar from the South London and Maudesley and Directors of Children’s services. This ensures that the VR is a robust wraparound training tool with measureable impacts.
While VR has been used in therapeutic and research contexts, using VR as a training tool to accelerate behaviour change is something new. Cornerstone has been running a pilot programme for the last year with more than 20 local authorities, voluntary adoption agencies, the judiciary and schools and the VR experiences have been used out in the field for therapy sessions with families. In a sector like social care that is underfunded and in many cases low tech, using VR as part of the training process has been a journey with many challenges.
However, the sector has embraced this new technology and we have seen VR shift from a novelty to business as usual and social workers are becoming VR practioners who are able to competently and ethically use VR to delivery a series of interventions. After much research, we believe VR can have a major application in social care settings and in addressing a wide range of mental health issues for children.