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Monday, 3 July 2017

Who Really Cares?

Hi all, I wanted to share my thoughts with you, in relation to social care provision.

I regularly advocate for people who, for whatever reason, are unable to express their needs fully to enable them to have full and positive access to mainstream society.

By enabling people to meet these needs, it also helps them to feel safe, and well, at all times.

Advocacy; pleading in support of.

Advocate; an intercessor: one who pleads the case of another?

Safeguard; anything that increases the security, or averts danger

Choice; act or power of choosing: the thing chosen: an alternative: preference: the best

Conditioned; having a (specified) condition, state, or quality

Institution; the act of instituting or establishing

I recently began to consider all the above areas of social care, this got me thinking of how these are met, are they met, and if not why?

We have many policies in place which state that the people we care for have quite clear rights and expectations.

The right to make informed choices with support.

Kept safe from harm.

The right to have an advocate who has their best interests at heart.

The right to be in a system that rigidly promotes best practice.

The right to inclusive decision-making, in the best interests of the individual, ensuring that core values, such as dignity, be adhered to at all times.

How many of us as social care practitioners have not, at one time or another, had to question directives relating to an individual under their jurisdiction, whether it be as a keyworker, or some other role, that compromise the values of our profession, and the individuals we care for?

Social Care has I feel become the forgotten profession, its core values, and ethos eroded year, after year until it no longer resembles the very thing it was created to be.

This is not just in isolation, everyone from the top, to the very bottom are complicit in the demise of social care, as I once knew it to be. We have advocates telling people they can do whatever they want because they have a disability, no mention that with every choice made there is a consequence.

People in care are allowed to become at risk because they have a choice, even though the choice made was not an informed choice, and puts them, quite often, at risk with no contingency plans to support that risk.

People who should know better suddenly become somehow frozen, their excuse for non-pro-activity in relation to the duty of care. It was their choice!

New people coming into Social Care are often not getting the training they need or the inductions needed of sufficient duration that will qualify them to work in a full and positive way with the complex needs of the individuals.

We cite lack of resources as a reason for a lot of these problems, and yes, this is an impacting factor. However, when you sign up to work in Social Care you have a massive responsibility to adhere to all the core values of your profession, which enables you to provide the best possible service to your clients.

Learn your trade from those who are skilled in this area, ask questions, don’t assume you have written the script, and don’t blame your wage levels as an excuse for not aspiring to be the best!

Lead by example, challenge unfair, and or illegal directives. Know your rights and the rights of the clients; be proactive in your working practices. Don’t become a yes person who just tries to fit in and have an easy life!

Remember the clients under your jurisdiction have difficult lives that they have to endure every day. You can go home to your normal life, choose who you want to be with, do what you want to do, often without great difficulty.

Imagine being unable to build therapeutic relationships with members of staff who do not work the way that is expected of them, and you have to endure this unable to fully articulate how this makes you feel. Unable to be with staff that work with you well, because you are told that you cannot expect this to happen!

Put yourself in their shoes, how would you expect to be treated? Would you like to be told to spend time with people who do not respect you?

Go within and see how you really work with people. Look at yours, and others working practices. Are you, or they, allowing them to be their best, and feel comfortable in your company.

Challenge what is wrong, challenge poor working directives, don’t be a Sheep, make a difference, and be a Tiger! This is I believe how we can help stop the erosion of Social Care, so that instead of our clients suffering in silence, and crying alone, we give them the best social care that we can, make them smile, be happy, and live their lives  to the full, now and in the future. Social Care matters, help to make it so.

Harry Brannigan.   

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