Can Virtual Reality (VR) really change behaviour?

Can Virtual Reality (VR) really change behaviour? Cornerstone are helping local government embed VR in learning and development programmes as well as real social work practice and have seen this technology radically transform the way people work and think…

The value of VR in training has long been recognised by the military, aerospace and resource industries to simulate situations too risky or impractical to recreate in the real world. VR is also widely used by video gamers and, more recently, the healthcare and automotive sectors have embraced the technology. Less visible has been the emergence of VR in other, traditionally lower tech, industries but that is changing as organisations start to see the potential for training, assessment and even therapy. Most recently VR has made its appearance in the social care and mental health space arena. VR in these instances not only aims to educate but, crucially, to drive behavioural change. Where there is an emotional context to the learning VR has been found to be an extremely effective tool. Enabling the user to ‘experience’ trauma, abuse and neglect through the eyes of a child, but in a safe, controlled space, allows the viewer to feel real emotions such as anger, fear and helplessness. This added emotional layer may make the experience richer and the learning deeper.

 By integrating VR into an intervention such as post-adoption support, Cornerstone VR™ allows social workers to engage with adoptive parents, foster carers and alternative care-givers to examine and reflect on the emotions elicited by the VR experience. We want everyone involved in caring for looked-after children to better understand what might lie behind a child’s behaviour. VR can help all stakeholders, including teachers and the judiciary, replace the notion of a naughty child with that of the traumatised child. 

After piloting for 12 months and working with 30+ local authorities in the UK, we have been very encouraged by the results and are looking at other opportunities where VR may assist interventions into areas which may be a function of early trauma and neglect. Could VR be employed as a preventative measure in children’s social care? What is the potential for working with birth families, care professionals, foster carers as well as children and young people involved with the criminal justice system?  We are confident that the answers lie in extensive research and collaboration with progressive local authorities, charities, academics, educators and law enforcement. We are keen to work with any individuals or organisations who see the potential for technology and skilled practise to deliver better outcomes for children in care. VR takes us a big step towards that ambition.

If you would like to find out more about how our products and services can help you with social work training and practice please contact enquiries@thecornerstonepartnership.com

 

 

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Forbes - Five Ways VR Is Making The World A Better Place

Forbes - Five Ways VR Is Making The World A Better Place

Virtual reality can change what a person sees, how they think, what they feel and even how they behave. This is because users believe they are present in the virtual environment they find themselves in. The perception of being physically present in a non-physical world is an incredible sensation. It's the reason why VR has been used to treat conditions like autism, PTSD, depression, and paranoia; offer pain relief and even promote recovery in paraplegics.

This powerful tool is changing lives for the better. Here are five examples:

Fostering & Adoption

The Cornerstone Partnership

Children's Minister calls on "really impressive" VR tool to be used by all social workers

Charity Digital News - VR transforming support for vulnerable children

Charity Digital News - VR transforming support for vulnerable children

Evaluation of virtual reality training used by social enterprise Cornerstone is showing positive results among carers and children’s professionals…

The Telegraph - VR technology which allows social workers to experience abuse through a child’s eyes to be used to cut gang crime

The Telegraph - VR technology which allows social workers to experience abuse through a child’s eyes to be used to cut gang crime

Virtual reality technology which allows social workers to experience abuse through a child’s eyes is set to be used to cut knife and gang crime following a successful pilot.

Children & Young People Now - Virtual reality 'deepens understanding' of trauma

Children & Young People Now - Virtual reality 'deepens understanding' of trauma

Virtual reality (VR) technology helps professionals grasp the traumatic experiences of looked-after children, research has found.

Transforming Mental Health and Social Services through Immersive Technologies- A Cornerstone and KTN Collaboration

Transforming Mental Health and Social Services through Immersive Technologies- A Cornerstone and KTN Collaboration

Cornerstone and The Knowledge Transfer Network co-hosted an event considering how immersive technologies are revolutionalising mental health and social services.

The Big Issue - Social workers are using VR to experience the lives of children in care

The Big Issue - Social workers are using VR to experience the lives of children in care

A trial conducted by social enterprise The Cornerstone Partnership has yielded promising results in enabling social care workers to better understand the trauma of children in care…