To have a duty of care means you must aim to provide a high quality of care to the best of your ability, not act in a way that could case harm and always act in the best interest of the individual.
In my work role I do this by keeping my knowledge up to date, such as attending weekly house meetings, attending young adult support meetings and attending training sessions provided by my employer. i make sure that i am in a position to know what needs to be done by receiving and giving handovers to the next staff group at the start and end of each shift, this ensures consistency and helps us to record necessary information, we have a shift check list to make sure that the senior on shift each day has done all the relevant task that need to be done, such as checking the young adult paper work, the food file and filling in the shift plan correctly.
We have young adult support plans for each individual, these are reviews and updated regularly by key staff who work closely with the individual, these are used to make sure that we are working consistently with each young adult. we keep daily records for each young adult, these include food and drink intake, toilet charts, bruise/mark charts, daily event sheets, phone call logs and behaviour monitoring forms. we also keep a food file for the house which is filled in daily, with details about the food we have cooked or served, fridge and freezer temperatures and daily checks that need to be completed such as food being clearly labelled or thrown away if out of date. we record all accidents and these are sent to main reception to be reviewed by senior management. we have physical intervention and incident recording books, these are filled in every time there is an incident where physical restraint was needed or if an incident happened that caused the young adult distress. these are checked weekly by senior management.
How does a duty of care contribute to the safeguarding of YAs?
Duty of care means that I have to follow the safeguarding policy set by my employer, this means that everyone who works with the young adults should be following the same guidelines
For me this means that I have attended safe guarding training, with regular refresher sessions, i have attended training on what types of abuse their are and how to recognise them. I am aware of the safeguarding flowchart about how to report a concern and i know who our safeguarding officer is if i have a concern i would like to discuss. we write, review and follow risk assessments for each individual in our and care, and for places we go and activities we do. This way we ensure risks around equipment, venues and activities are minimised, therefore reducing the risk of injury or harm to the young adults or staff by being aware of potential hazards and being prepared to manage them. I follow policies and procedures written by my employer, and legislation set by law. we fill in daily paper work for each young adult and if we notice any changes this is fed back to our line manager and discussed at a team meeting.
What could be possible conflicts that may arise between a duty of care and an individuals rights? and how do we manage these?
Some of the young people I support lack the capacity to make decisions about the care they receive or about life decisions, such a medical decisions. in this case we would try to help them make an informed choice by giving them information in a form they understand, be that photos or a social story in symbol form, if it is felt that haven’t been able to retain this information then we will have a best interest meeting, where all the important people in that persons life meet to discuss what you be best for the individual. at this meeting we discuss what would be best for the individual and how that can be achieved.
An example of a conflict between duty of care and individual right is a situation we had recently with young adult x (YAX) who has very sore skin on his testicles. It is our duty of care to apply cream to this area as directed by his GP however it is his individual right to refuse this cream. However due to his lack of understanding that this could lead to further health implications such as infection, it has been decided that we will do a desensitisation program with YAX to help him overcome his fear of the cream so that it can be applied.
Other situations that could arise could be around a young adult not wanting to take their medication but not understanding the importance of the medication and the consequences of not taking it, if it is for something like epilepsy or depression.
We are aware that the young adults have the right to take risks but we have a duty of care to support them with this as safely as possible. an example of this recently was taking some of the young adults snow tubing at Bracknell dry ski slope, the young adults have the right to try something new and to take the risks associated with this, such as falling over or falling out of the tube while it is moving, so to make this safe for them we made sure we had done a thorough risk assessment before the trip happened and we had extra staff in place to support if anything happened.
If a situation arose about a conflict between duty of care and an individuals rights then i would look for my deputy home manager or the home manager for support, i would think about how we had handled situations like this in the past and see if any of the same issues applied, i would contact the onsite therapy team and see if there was any input they could have that could help us.
How do we respond to complaints?
At my work we respond to complaints by recording them in the complaints book, this is a bound book that is monitored weekly by senior management. in this book we record who has made the complaint, to whom, how the complaint was made (eg by phone, in person) the details of the complaint and who we have passed this complaint on to or how it has been resolved. all complaints are passed on to senior management to be followed up and if the person making the complaint would like to make it a formal complain they are asked to put the details in writing.
What are the main points to be aware of when handling a complaint?
The mains points to be aware fo are respecting the person who has made the complaints right to confidentiality , recording and reporting what has been said so it can be addressed quickly, making sure the person feels listened to, that there is a forum for complaint e.g. team meetings, questionnaires for parents, and residents meetings for the YAs.
Note to slef, see complaint procedure at work.
As a senior learning facilitator I have a duty of care to the young adults I support, to the other staff members on my team and my employer. This means that I always need to act in the best interest of the young adults and provide high quality care to the best of my ability. In turn these people can rely on me to provide this care.
The statement of purpose for my work states that we aim to provide excellent residential care, that we aim to maximise learning and life skills and that we provide a safe environment for the young adults to life and learn in, so it is our duty of care to provide these things.
On a day to day basis this means giving the young adults opportunities to learn new skills and develop existing ones. Keeping the young adults safe while onsite and while out in the community, we do this is by having a high staffing level of staff that have received training in autism and restrain training that may need to be used if a young person attempts to hurt them self or others.
Courtney from Study Moose
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