1.1:- Explain what it means to have a duty of care in own work role.
1.2:- Explain how a duty of care contributes to safeguarding or protection of individuals.
Having a duty of care is an obligation to a professional, a child and family. Any family placing a child within an early years setting should feel that staff members will take full care of their child and that they will be safe. Any professional caring for a child would be held responsible if the minimum standard of care is not met. “If a duty of care is not met in a role that requires it, then the responsible person can be held accountable for allowing negligence to occur.”
Providing a duty of care to a child is to ensure that they are at no harm. This would mean that a professional would need to be aware of giving the child right amount of attention, watching for potential hazards and making wise choices in the steps taken to ensure a child’s safety. There are legislations that early years setting must take full consideration of when proving a duty of care. Such as the Child Care Act 2006. This act incorporates the welfare standards in which all staff who look after children under the age of 8 should comply with. In September 2008 it became a legal responsible for care givers to ensure that all provisions are met. The welfare requirements of this are that within setting there should be an adult to child ratio.
Every child matters used to be a government requirement but now it is guidance. This framework helps to safeguard and protect children. This framework says that children must be;
Contribute to society positively
Safeguarding is very important within any early year’s setting. Safeguarding helps to protect children from malnutrition and negligence. Some safeguarding procedures within my own work placement are signing in and out books and everyday security checks. This means on my arrival I am asked to present my student ID or any other form to prove who I am. I cannot enter the child care setting at all, as all doors are controlled from the office inside. All doors are kept locked, and have pin locks on them. This ensures that even if an adult was able to get into the setting doors would be sealed.
One example of duty of care not being given is about a small girl that died. Molly Cunliffe was unlawfully killed, in a nursery setting, in July 2007 when she was left in the care of an unqualified 17-year old student. The 16 month old child choked on a cloth bag tie when in her cot. Mr. Cunliffe says that “This is the result in unforgivable negligence and the needless death of our daughter Molly.”
Nursery world (10/3/2014)
There are a number of ways that providing a duty of care contributes to the safe guarding or protection of individuals. These include;
Adult to child ratio’s
Indoor and outdoor checks
Security checks (ID), sign in and out book
Trained first aiders
Unqualified staff always supervised
Counting children on a regular basis/ registers
Look belongings away/ phones locked away
On arrival at my placement I am let in when a member of staff recognises me. I am then instantly told to sign myself in and security check to ensure that I am who I say I am. This means I need to present my student ID. This helps to protect children from strange
people coming into the building. The setting is also a looked premises. This helps staff to know who is in the building. When arriving into my room, I am asked to sign into the room. Children are also signed in and out of the room. Children are also counted regular throughout the day. This ensures that no child is missing.
When going to placement I am expected to wear my uniform. On my uniform its states when I am from and when course I am doing. With my uniform I am asked to wear a student badge. This helps to protect children because they are aware that I am supposed to be there. Adults and parents can also see that I am working with their children for a reason and that I am no danger.
When arriving at placement I place all my items in a locker. This has to have my phone in and any other valuables. This ensures safeguarding because it prevents me and other professionals from taking photographs of children or adding confidential information on social networking sites.
Procedures such as accident, illness and injury forms help to protect children and members of staff. These forms are kept confidential but parents are able to look at these records as and when they like. It also protects staff from allegations.
At my placement they have CCTV and open nappy changing rooms. CCTV helps to ensure that all children are protected and are always visible to staff. This can help when an adult or child may make an allegation. Open changing rooms help protect children and their confidentiality. CCTV means that staff are visible at all times but children being changed cannot be seen on the camera.
As I am an unqualified adult in the setting, I am always supervised by qualified members of staff. This protects children because they will always be supervised by someone that they know and feel safe around. There is also a trained first aider within the setting that will be able to assist when a child is injured.
2.1:- Describe potential conflicts or dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and the individual’s rights.
Everyone is entitled to their basic human rights. These are the right to food, shelter, health care, safety and protection from abuse. Children in generally will not be able to stand up for themselves. United Nations drew up a charter ‘The United Convention’ on the rights of a child.
“The Children and Young Person’s Act 1933 consolidated all existing “child protection” work at that time into one act”
Child protection (17/11/11)
The children and young people’s act 1933 imposes a criminal responsibility
for adults. This means that if an adult chooses to leave their child in the care of someone, and something was to happen, they would be held responsible. Choosing inadequate care for a child would be seen as neglect.
Potential dilemmas or conflicts that could arise within a setting could be;
A child’s appearance and hygiene: Dirty clothes, unkempt, smelly
Constant and unexplained bruises and injuries
Change in personality and behaviour: Changing from quiet to very unsettled or aggressive.
Dramatic change in weigh, food problems: Change in appetite or stealing food.
Continuously saying and reporting things that happen: Telling members of staff that they have been hit.
Dilemmas or conflict would be managed within setting by arranging regular meetings. This wouldn’t just focus on a child’s concerns but also a child’s achievements. Regular meetings would keep a parent updated in any changes. This also offers an opportunity for professionals to support a parent if they need the support and advice.
Policies and procedures such as confidentiality and safeguarding are always available for parents to read and understand. Parents would read and sign the policies and procedures to show that they understand and agree with what they settings do in relevance to safeguarding and providing a duty of care to their child. Having policies and procedures helps to ensure that that parents are fully informed of any action they would need to take if an issue was bought up. Although professionals will keep things confidential, if a child is at risk someone else would needs to be informed. Forms and information regarding a parent’s child are always available for them to read.
Professionals will build up a strong trust worthy relationship with parents and child so that they feel any issues or concerns can be dealt with calmly. This will help to ensure that if conflict does happen, the adults knows that they are talking to someone that trust them, understands them and will offer professional advice.
Some situations such as behaviour, health and safety and confidentiality can or may cause conflict. These may arise between an individual’s rights and the duty of care.
Confidentiality: The possible risk may be that the child is a risk of significant harm. It
isn’t always possible to keep confidentiality if concerns are raised about a child’s safety. If confidentiality is broken, conflict could arise though losing the trust of the parent. Ways of managing the risks are settings having policies and procedures regarding confidentiality and safeguarding. Parents should be aware of the procedures professionals may need to take when a concern is bought up.
Health and safety: A health and safety risk may be a child being left un supervised at home alone. This could but the child in serious danger. Also if a child is regularly absent for nursery/school, this could cause a concern. Ways of managing the risks are to offer guidance and support to adult/parents about breakfast clubs and after school clubs. Additional support could be giving them leaflets to help with financial and child care cost.
Behaviour: If a child has a dramatic change in behaviour; for example changing from very calm to unsettled or aggressive, could be signs of a further medical condition such as ADHD. It can also affect a child’s learning and development if they are progressively finding it hard to concentrate on activities or group reading time. A way settings would manage this would be to have a good behavioural management and to speak to parents about there prefer way of dealing with bad behaviour. If a setting felt that a parent’s behaviour management wasn’t affective enough, professionals could other strategies.
2.3:- Explain where to get additional support and advice about conflicts and dilemmas.
There is a wide range of additional support that can offer advice about conflicts and dilemmas such as LEA (Local Educational Authority) This authority offers advice on special educational needs. They are educational advisors. These advisors will draw up an individual plan for a child. This should be reviewed every year. The special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) will work in partner shit with settings, children and parents to find the right support the child needs. “Parents should be involved in developing the individual’s educational plan, and the child should also get the chance for input.”
Young Minds (2014)
Another place professionals can get additional advice from is health services such as school nurses and play therapists. School nurses not only deal with children being ill, they also have an important role in promoting good health. “School nurses do vision and hearing screenings and a children how to take care of themselves.”
Kids Health (2014)
School nurses also work with children with special needs such as diabetes and teach
them about their condition and monitor them while they are in the setting. Nurses give patients and families compassionate support when they need it.
A play therapist also works with children that may have problems such as;
Loss through bereavements, family breakups and separation
Illness or disability
Experienced neglect and abuse
Children with low self esteem and anxiety issues
Play therapist will adapt to suit individual needs and appropriate age. Play therapist helps children to explore their feelings and emotions and make sense of them. Play therapists work with children through role play, sensory play and different toys to help build a trust relationship between them.
Social service work closely in partnership to help advise about conflict and dilemmas. “Social services have a statutory obligation to safeguard and promote the welfare of vulnerable children and can provide a wide range of services to children and their parents.”
Family lives (2014)
Charities offer addition support to practitioners and advise through different groups of people. Some charities that offer addition support are;
Save the children
Noah’s arch bereavement support
The NSPCC (National Society For Prevention Of cruelty To Children.) offer addition support through a help line. They are a 24 hour service. This allows practitioners to discuss child pretention concerns. They also offer and information service where practitioners can find out changes in child protection policies, practice and research.
Noah’s ark is a charity based on offer support to children with limited or life threatening illness. This charity works closely in partnership with families and other agencies by offering flexible support. They help families live positively and support them through bereavement. They offer emotional and physical support through the child’s life.
3.1:- Describe how to respond to complaints.
When responding to complaints, there are things practitioners should and should not do.
Should: Practitioners should always remain in a professional manor. This would mean following set procedures and remaining calm when dealing with any complaints made. It is also important so that bonds and relationships are not broken.
Remaining confidential is very important. People remain confidential to avoid conflict. The only time when confidentiality is broken is when there is a safeguarding issue. Following the confidentiality procedure will prevent people taking sides and gossiping about the situation.
It is important that practitioner always explain the importance of the issue. This means making people aware of what is going on. By following policies and procedures, the situation can be resolved.
When responding to complaints, good body language will show that a practitioner is listening to what the other person has to say. Being attentive will show that their views are being listened to and understood. Making eye contact and informs the speaker that they are being listened to and will show that they are empathising them. “……. people will usually make eye contact as a signal that they are ready to listen.”
Shouldn’t :- When responding to complaints there are many things that practitioners should not do. Practitioners should not dismiss people’s opinions and views. This can cause them to feel threatened and make them think that their views and opinion are not valued.
Do not interrupt when the other person is speaking. This can seem rude and make them feel that they are in the wrong. All opinions should be valued and dealt with fairly.
Practitioners should not be judgemental. If people are judged they may feel that their opinion is being dismissed and they are in the wrong.
Practitioners should never compare. If an individual is compare to another can make them feel out casted and different. It is important to remember that all children are different and develop at different stages. No child is unable to do something; they are
working towards achieving it.
3.2:- Explanation of main points of agreed procedures for handling complaints.
Policies and procedures: All early years settings will have policies and procedures for making complaints. This will make people aware that if they have complaints to make they know where to go and how it will be dealt with.
Have relevant forms for complaint makings. This will allow the setting to deal with the complaint quickly and effectively. All complaints should be treated as important no matter what the complaint is about. When a complaint is made, it should be dealt with immediately. This will prevent the situation getting worst.
Depending on the seriousness of complaint, it would be made to the manager or a named person. For example the safeguarding officer, governors or local authorities. If the report is made against the manager is should be taken to the person next in command.
A meeting should be help separately for the relevant people to talk about the situation. This meeting should be held in privacy. Both staff/adult should be allowed a witness with them so that they feel safe. During a meeting notes should be taken on the situation, but they should always be repeated and explained.
No meeting should end without an action or review date. This could be signing an agreement of the action taken and to agree that they complaint has been resolved.
Courtney from Study Moose
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