We all have our own values that have developed as a result of our family and childhood experiences, and as a result of our friendships and relationships. Our values are also influenced by people in our local community, as well as by national figures and the media. Support workers in social care are expected to promote particular values. There are two important points to note. First, the idea that learning disability workers are supporting a person. It is not a question of being in charge or in control, because choice and decision-making should lie with the person, as far as possible. Second, it is very important that these principles are part of your everyday work. There should be nothing special about them, they should be part of day-to day life.
Within a few days of starting work with people with learning disabilities, it should be clear to you that everyone you work with is an individual, with their own particular likes, dislikes, strengths and personality. Services and support workers should always focus on the individuals they are working with, rather than the needs of a group of people. You and your colleagues should have the hopes, dreams, interests and needs of each person you support as a top priority in your daily work.
Why it is important to promote rights and values
When we talk about promoting rights and values, we mean:
actively using those rights and values to influence everything we do seeing them as having an important role in all our work as learning disability workers encouraging their use as the standards by which we and others judge the quality of life of the people we support, and the quality of the services that support them. This is a big task. The use of values as standards is a huge challenge to services. But the idea is central to the basic principles of supporting people with learning disabilities. To demonstrate that you have understood this, you should be able to discuss why it is important to work in a way that promotes these values when supporting those who have a learning disability. The following example should help you to develop the skills you will need to discuss values in relation to the lives of the people you support.
Person centred values mean that people with learning disabilities should:
no longer be marginalised and isolated within society
have the same social status as other people
no longer be subject to exploitation and abuse
have their opinions taken seriously
have their adult status recognised
have the same citizenship rights as other people.
The General Social Care Council (GSCC) is the organisation set up by the government in 2001 to register and regulate all social care workers. It has produced a Code of Practice which states that social care workers should work in a certain way. You can see some of these requirements in the table below:
Code of Practice for Social Care Workers requirements
Protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers
Strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service Users and carers
Promote the independence of service users, while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm
Respect the rights of service users, while seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not harm themselves or other people