Debriefs form one of the feedback loops that design queercare policy. They try and understand what we could do better in a similar situation again, and what we did well which we can repeat doing.
Debreifs also function as part of the support which people doing care provide to each other. They are a space to talk about traumatising or difficult experiences we have had and process that a little. It should be part of getting support
When to do a debrief
You must do a debreif after every piece of care you do- it is up to you how frequently you wish to do them during an ongoing piece of care, but you must do one after 50 hours of care on one person or 200 hours split between many, whichever is sooner.
For example, if one person has spent 6 days doing 8 hours of care, you must do a debrief following this, even if they have been working with two or more buddies who have done less than 50 hours.
If you are working a large protest camp, with 25 people doing care on a given day, you should debrief every day, even if only quickly, because a given day will involve 200 hours of care.
What to do before doing a debrief
You should decide on a time where everyone who has done care can make it to the debrief.
A debrief should be done in a single space, which can have space for breakouts to smaller groups. Book one of these. Follow the Running a meeting protocol.
If this is not feasible a debrief can be done in a group chat, but should be done in signal because discussion of care details is necessary.
How to do a debrief
You should begin by listing what went well while doing care- what care was good, what successes were had, and what protocol worked. Note these down.
You can work chronologically through events, or in another way you feel is more appropriate to the situation- for example, you may decide to focus one one site at a time, one person for whom care was done at a time, or one category of care at a time.
Next, you should list what could have happened better while doing care- what went wrong? where was protocol not followed? where was there work that needed to be done which was not written in protocol?
For each, figure out the factors which caused this to happen- where were people given the skills, equipment and training to do the right thing? What could be changed to reproduce this?
If something good that was done is not documented in protocol, but may be reproducible, minute someone to update protocol to include it.
If something that could be done better is not documented in protocol, but may be reproducible, minute someone to update protocol to include it.
If something that could be done better is documented in protocol, but protocol could describe better care, minute someone to update protocol to describe this better care.
If protocol was not followed, ascertain why- Were people too hungry? Not trained enough? Too anxious? Trained in an ineffective manner? It must not be framed as the fault of the person that they did not follow protocol- it is the fault of their training, and other systems supporting them.
Lastly, you should go through the things you could do better once more, followed by the things you did well, so as to reecap the entire event.
What to do after doing a debrief
After a debrief, make adjustments that need to be made to protocol that were minuted to ensure that good things can happen again and that things that can be done better, are done better.