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Understand working relationships in social care settings

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1.1 Explain how a working relationship is different from a personal relationship.

Working relationships are based on formal policies and procedures and agreed ways of working. They are bound by contracts of employment and also have codes of practice to be followed so they are professional based. My responsibility as a care assistant is to deliver a very high standard service to individuals. This includes support for everyday living e.g. bathing, dressing, personal hygiene and general domestic tasks. Before performing any activities for the day, I go through my clients care plan and get all the information about the clients and any changes that may have occurred. Personal relationships are based on emotions and are not formal or professional based. In personal relationships it is normal to support each other and to have feelings and do things that you wouldn’t do in the workplace, as you can be more relaxed when you are with family or friends. Personal relationships also involve doing things together outside of the work environment.

1.2 Describe different working relationships in social care settings

1. Care Assistant – their role is to ensure that everything they do related to individuals is according to their agreed plan of care. They should always provide the client with a high level of quality of care. This can only be achieved by involving the individual in all decision making and encouraging them to both participate and to give feedback about the service they are given. It is also part of their role to maintain communication in the care sector, for example, discussing aspects of care with individuals should they ask for this. 2. Care Home Manager – their role is that of a registered manager with 24 hour responsibility for managing all services. They should make sure that consent is established before any care is provided to an individual, and ensure enough help is given to the individuals who cannot make decisions by themselves.

They make sure all employees who work in the care home provide care to individuals in a person-centred manner and it is their responsibility to make sure roles are followed. They encourage all carers and other staff to document all the information they have including any enquires from the individuals. They should provide motivation, guidance and professional leadership to all team members. 3. Individuals – they are likely to need support and encouragement from the care assistant so that they can participate fully every day. They can sometimes help the care assistants by discussing with them and reminding them about the things they previously did. Some individuals may seek the support of an advocate to ensure that they are able to complete their assessments and make their plans.

2. Understand the importance of working in ways that are agreed with the employer. 2.1 Describe why it is important to adhere to the agreed scope of the job role.

A care assistant will come to know what the individual can do for themselves and what they need support with. Examples are – eating, drinking, mobility, being safe and personal care. It is also a care assistant’s role to record any views that an individual may have. Every individual has the right to be supported to make their own decision, either by themselves or through an advocate. When helping individuals to communicate what they want in their life, care assistants should carry out the role in the best interests of the person they are supporting. It is important to recognise individuality, and that individuals can choose how they want to live their life to a certain degree; the role of the care assistant is to support them in making decisions where possible. Carers should support individuals to receive care in a person-centred manner, i.e. putting the person at the centre of delivering support. Individuals should be encouraged to do things for themselves as much as possible; when they are included in the decision making process for their care then they will be more inclined participate more. This is because the care they are given is their own choice. Treating individuals with dignity and respect is the first priority for a carer.

2.2 Outline what is meant by ‘agreed ways of working’.

Policies and procedures or ‘agreed ways of working’ outline how your employer requires you to work. They incorporate various pieces of legislation as well as best practice, and are there to benefit and protect you, the individuals you support and your employer. They enable you to provide a good quality service whilt ensuring you are working within the legal framework and most importantly they aim to keep you and the individuals you support safe from danger or harm. Policies and procedures are essential pieces of information that will support you in your role and will enable you to work professionally and safely. You are being paid (unless you are an unpaid carer) to do a job for your employer, so if you do not follow their agreed ways of working, you could cause harm to yourself or others and you could find yourself subject to capability or disciplinary procedures which could lead to dismissal or even prosecution if you break the law. You do not need to know every word of every policy but you will need to know what policies exist and what they cover so you can refer to them when you need to.

2.3 Explain the importance of full and up-to-date details of agreed ways of working. It is important that there are full and up-to-date details of agreed ways of working, and also that everyone is aware of the latest versions for several reasons: 1. To ensure compliance with latest legislation.

2. Having a consistent approach to how care is given
3. To avoid conflict between staff, e.g. if two carers are doing a task differently as one of them is unaware of the latest procedures. 3. Understand the importance of working in partnership with others. 3.1 Explain why it is important to work in partnership with others.

It is essential that carers work in partnership with all of the people surrounding the individual they are supporting in order to ensure the best possible support and care is provided. This will include carers, families, advocates and other people who are sometimes known as ‘significant others’. In order to work well in partnership, there has to be good communication and the carer will therefore need to have good communication skills. Other people could provide useful information to support a carer in their work and vice-versa. This is good partnership working. An example might be if there are communication difficulties. A carer or family member can share information about how best to communicate with an individual. This enables the individual to be listened to and supported in ways that they desire.

3.2 Identify ways of working that can help improve partnership working. It is essential that everyone’s focus is on providing the best care and support to individuals, for example:  supporting an individual to achieve their goals and to be as independent as possible  respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of individuals  promoting equal opportunities and respecting diversity and different cultures and values  reporting dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour or practice  communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way  treating each person as an individual

 sharing expert knowledge and respecting views of others to achieve positive outcomes for individuals By everyone working safely in an honest, open and professional way, and by following the company policies and procedures then this will improve working in partnership.

3.3 Identify skills and approaches needed for resolving conflict. Compromising with difficult individuals is not always easy, but it is very important, as if a conflict seems one-sided it could anger or agitate the conflicted individuals further. Understanding each other’s roles can also help defuse tension by having individuals concentrate on their roles rather than the other person, as well as trying to understand the individual’s problems, it could be as simple as something like turning the TV channel over, but even if it isn’t, identifying how and why a conflict has occurred is a very good step towards resolving it, and understanding that problem helps create empathy, which is a very useful tool when comforting or consoling someone.

3.4 Explain how and when to access support about:
Partnership working
Resolving conflicts
Support or advice can be accessed about partnership working and resolving conflicts from colleagues, seniors, managers, or even from the internet or other social care bodies. Their experience and knowledge, especially in reference to your senior in charge may prove invaluable in offering advice and methods when dealing with conflicts or partnership working. The manager can help you with the legal side of things, and offer the most professional resolutions to conflicts between higher bodies such as social services or external agencies. In regards to partnership working, any time you have an issue or a concern, speaking to any of the above will result in similar results to resolving conflict, for example the senior can offer you professional advice and from experience may be able to identify your concern in partnership working from having felt a similar way in the past.

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