Virtual reality helps social workers and others engage more effectively with vulnerable children
UK-based Cornerstone is piloting a programme that gives adults a virtual experience of the abuse and stress a child in the social care system may have faced. The programme, known as Cornerstone Partnership’s Virtual Reality, is as engaging as a virtual reality game. Yet instead of the thrill of driving a race car or battling space aliens, viewers are subjected to domestic violence. Cornerstone says it’s the first of its kind.
The point is to improve children’s lives. Cornerstone says the programme helps people who interact with children in care — social workers, judges, teachers, and mental health professionals — develop a deeper understanding and empathy for what some of these children have been through.
Nine out of ten of the care professionals who piloted the system said it would improve their interactions with children. An equal number felt it would make adoptions more successful. Prospective adoptee parents also use the programme.