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Explain what it means to have a Duty of care in your own work role Essay

Duty of Care includes the concepts:

• to keep individuals safe
• to keep individuals free from harm
• to give choice

Duty of care is a key concept in working with children and young people. It is a legal term for safeguarding self and others.

Children and young people are often vulnerable as they are yet to develop the physical and cognitive capacity to fully care for themselves; they need care and protection from the adults around them. Health and social care organisations have what is called a duty of care towards the people they look after. That means that they must do everything they can to keep the people in their care safe from harm.

‘Duty of care’ means a requirement to exercise a ‘reasonable’ degree of attention and caution to avoid negligence which would lead to harm to other people. Working with children and young people brings a significant duty of care and we need to recognise that the younger and more vulnerable the child the greater the duty of care. Your vigilance and attention keeps children and young people safe as they develop:

• the ability to anticipate and cope with potential dangers
• stronger immune systems
• empathy –understanding their actions may hurt or upset others
• communication skills to be able to talk about harm others may be doing to them

1.2Explain how duty of care contributes to the safeguarding or protection of individuals.

Working with children has a significant duty of care. Children who are younger and more vulnerable need greater care. The attention and vigilance of the practitioner helps to keep them safe as they develop, gives the children understanding to be able to for see and cope with potential dangers and have an understanding that their actions may hurt and upset others, also communication to be able to talk about the harm others may be doing to them.

The duty of care contributes to the safeguarding and protection of individuals this can be carried out in a variety of ways:-

• Risk management plans
• Avoiding potential hazards, which could lead to harm through accidents or spreading infections.
• Having clear instructions and set boundaries.
• Observing children and assessing their development.
• Working with parents (if appropriate) and other professionals to aid children’s development.
• Hold a relevant Safeguarding Certificate.

2.1Describe potential conflicts or dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights.

Conflicts and Dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and individuals rights could be staff having a difference of opinion over a child for example a staff member believing they have maybe being bullied at school but other staff dismissing this. This could lead to conflict between the staff team. Dilemmas could include when to get further help regarding child protection and safeguarding issues for example not seeking advice from senior staff, police, EDT and social services. Also when it is appropriate to break confidentiality and share information. If you have any concerns about a child or feel they are at risk you need to share them and report it, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

2.2 Describe how to manage risks associated with conflicts or dilemmas between an individual’s rights and the duty of care.

There are many ways to manage risks including recording the conflict or dilemma. •If the conflict or dilemma is recorded it can be evidenced that it happened and that management are trying to resolve this and it can be evidenced if and when this is resolved. •Reporting the conflict/dilemma to a senior member of staff allows senior staff to take charge of the situation if necessary and manages the potential for false allegations or statements being made. •Risk Assessments gives staff the information and the right strategies to use during conflict with the young people and means they get the right care for their needs at that time. •Discussing the conflict/dilemma with the individual (whether this is staff or young people) helps clear the air, find out the facts and show that it will try to be resolved.

2.3Explain where to get additional support and advice about conflicts and dilemmas.

Additional support and advice could be obtained from:
•Colleagues
•Senior members of staff
•Family (if appropriate)
•Social Worker or other professionals
•Policies and procedures
•Internet
•National Minimum Standards
•Children Act 1989 Volume 5

3.1 / 3.2. If a client came to you to make a complaint, how would you react? Explain why you would do this and how this links to the agreed procedures for handling complaints. Explain your companies complaint procedure, use extra paper if required.

When dealing with a complaint you need to remain calm making sure you listen to the complaint, give the complainant time and respect, have regard to confidentiality and record the information. Also report to a senior member of staff, access the Complaints Policy, ensure the complainant has access to the Complaints Policy and ensure the complainant knows what will happen next. Offer the complainant help with this if they need it.

My company policy states the first person the complainant should speak to is their keyworker or the home manager. St Cuthberts Care Procedure

The Registered Manager will ensure that the children/young people, and where appropriate their families, significant others and independent visitors, are provided with information which is contained within the Statement of Function and Purpose/ ‘How To Complain’, on how to complain, including how they can secure access to an advocate. Where necessary, this access will be to an advocate who is suitably skilled (e.g. in signing or in speaking the complainant’s preferred language)

The Registered Manager will ensure that they:

  • enable children/young people, staff, family members and others involved with the home, to make both minor and major complaints by making a copy of this procedure freely available
  • preclude any person who is the subject of a formal complaint from taking any responsibility for the consideration of or response to that complaint
  • expressly forbid any reprisals against children/young people or others making a complaint
  • include provision for both informal attempts, such as negotiation, arbitration and mediation, at resolving the complaint and for the child/young person and any complainant to have the matter pursued further if not satisfied with the proposed informal resolution
  • do not restrict the issues they may complain about
  • a written record is made and kept of the person making the complaint, date of the complaint, nature of the complaint, action taken and outcome of the complaint
  • provide for relevant issues to be referred promptly to other procedures, including the local social services authority where child protection issues are involved
  • provide the complaints procedure in an accessible format to disabled children/young people enable people other than the child/young person to make complaints on behalf of the child/young person, provided the child/young person consents to this provide for complainants to be kept informed about the progress of their complaints and to be provided with details of the outcome, in an accessible format, at the earliest opportunity.

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