The first part of this Reflective Account describes what influences and events in my life have helped to develop my Personal Values. My grandparents taught me most of my basic ‘Personal Values’. I learned from an early age how to be polite, have good manners and respect my elders as failure to do so would result in getting sent to bed early. In those days I did not have a television in my room so in my eyes this was the ultimate punishment! They were not deeply religious people; my grandmother attended church every Sunday and took me to Sunday school. At the age of twelve she gave me the choice as whether to attend or not. I did not attend but she still taught me the moral values of respecting myself, my body and how a female should/ should not behave in public and at home. As today’s culture climate is changing towards how some young women behave e.g. children to several partners, going out barely clothed and getting themselves into all sorts of situations, I feel she was perhaps right in her teachings but when I say this to some of my nieces they tend to tell me I’m a bit too old fashioned and they’re glad I’m not their mother.
I do not have any specific religious values and I would not disagree or agree with anybody else’s views, I hold the value of everybody being entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. I have passed all of these values onto my own child over the years and feel proud when people say what a polite and thoughtful man he is. A value that changed as I got older was one of ‘First Impressions’. Again, my grandfather (who was a policeman) taught me that first impressions count but an experience in a local cafe showed me that this was untrue. An elderly gentleman who was often drunk and smelly used to come into the cafe and nobody, including myself would go near or speak to him. This day the only seat available to him was the one next to me. He started talking to me and I was astounded to realize that he was a very intelligent man, he was talking about things going on in the world and using words I had to ask the meanings of. I now use the value ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’.
A very important value which I learned was that of ‘Family’ values. Coming from a small dysfunctional family where there was no real closeness I married into a large family where they all lived in one another’s pockets. I learned all about honesty, trust and support in the family circle, how they were all there for each other, supporting each other through the good and bad times regardless of the consequences. When I divorced my son’s father, his family supported both of us so my son had the best of both worlds, time with me and time with his father. I did not have this as a child, I did not see my father unless he was on a sober day and I never saw my mother until I was sixteen years old. I find this value very high on my list of personal values and have tried to pass this on to my son as he is about to become a father himself. Overall I have an open mind and I am willing to learn and compromise, maybe change a particular value or belief depending on the role and situation I am in at the time, which takes me on to the second part of this reflective account.
The second part of this reflective account describes how my personal values relate to social care values. As a social care worker I must follow the guidelines and key concepts as laid down by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). This council was formed in October 2001 by the Scottish Government and aims to raise the standards in the field of Social Care Services. They have laid down ‘Core Values’ which underpin Social Care conduct. These ‘Core values’ are Dignity, Privacy, Choice, Safety, Realising Potential and Equality and Diversity. I believe that everybody has freedom of choice. We all make choices, whether it be what we wear, eat, what career path we choose to follow. Our choices can be endless but can also be limited. Limited choices can be because of things like finances, availability or circumstances, other choices depend on health, safety and danger to ourselves or to others.
In my role as a social care worker I have a service user who has complex, additional needs and also uses a wheelchair. This user has the choice to use their wheelchair and can work the back brakes managing to get around the classroom at any time. This makes it difficult for us to manage the rest of the class as the user has no sense of danger and could possibly harm or put other class members in danger. We therefore have to take away the user’s choice of chair as we need to keep them and the rest of the class and staff safe and free from harm.
This example shows that conflict can arise between the ‘Core values’ of ‘Promoting Choice’ and ‘Keeping People Safe’ Privacy is not just a case of liking your own company or keeping private matters to yourself. I like my own privacy, having time to myself gives me the chance to gather my thoughts or just chill out in my own way. I can choose what I want people to know about me without fear, prejudice or being discriminated against. Privacy in Social Care often works alongside Dignity.
Dignity is a value which varies from person to person. I myself on going to the bathroom would lock the door so that no one else comes in, another person might not bother, and for some people, they may be unable to do so. In Social Care a service users Privacy and Dignity must be preserved at all times. This means that when I support a user dressing/ undressing I must take them to the bathroom (as it is a school the bathroom is the only place for the user to do this as the door locks) maintaining their dignity and privacy.
As well as respecting their dignity I also have to ensure that their private personal details are kept private from outside sources. Any written information such as care plans or medical records would be locked away in the filing cabinet in the Headmistresses office. Another aspect of privacy would be confidentiality. In my role as a social care worker I would hopefully have the trust of the user so’s that they could speak to me about anything, if I had any concerns that they would harm or put themselves or others