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Social Services, Code Conduct, Northern Ireland Fermanagh, Northern Ireland Social Care Council, make complaints about social worker


NORTHERN IRELAND SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL Consultation on Draft Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers of Social Care Workers


1

Why Codes of Conduct and Practice?

Northern Ireland Social Care Council (NISCC) The Northern Ireland Social Care Council was established in October 2001. Its job is to: raise standards of practice and protect the people who use the service.

To do this the Council will set up a register of social care workers. All people who work in social care will eventually be required to register.

Any person registered with the Council will be viewed as safe and competent to practise.

Codes of conduct are an important part of registration.

They set standards for staff and for their employers.

Breaches of the standards resulting in malpractice could result in deregistration which would stop a person from working in a social care setting.

Social Care Workers

Social Care Workers become involved in the lives of people at different points.
This can range from parents caring for children, to those requiring personal care to enable them to live independently.

People’s experiences of social services can be very different across the country.

This can be further complicated by a lack of understanding about what social care workers do, as well as the services they provide.

At times this has led to unclear expectations about the roles and responsibilities of workers.

It is for these reasons the Government is introducing new ways of working which promote partnership and improved communication with people who use social services.

There is also a growing emphasis on agreeing what people can expect from social care workers, irrespective of where they live.
This has resulted in the proposal that a code of conduct and practice should be developed, which will be in the interest of users of services, carers, social care workers and employers.

2

How will the Codes be used?

The Code of Conduct - to ensure the conduct of social care workers meets the standards set.

The Code of Practice - to ensure that employers meet their responsibilities to support workers to adhere to the code of conduct.

The Codes of Conduct and Practice and You.

The codes of conduct and practice will affect users of services, carers, staff, managers, the public and other professionals in a variety of ways.

Users of Service and Carers will know:

what to expect of social care workers;

what to do about any concern over behaviour of social care workers.

Staff will:

be clear about how they must behave;

know the consequences of not abiding by the codes.

Managers will know:

what they have to do to support staff;

what provision for training and supervision is needed;

what to do about complaints.

The public:

will be clear about how social care workers should conduct themselves when carrying out their jobs.
They will know what to do if they have concerns that a user of service is not being treated properly by a social care worker.

It is up to You!

It is crucial that the codes of conduct and practice set the right standards for everyone, by meeting the following criteria:

clear and specific;

accessible to all;

applicable and relevant to everyone;

set standards that are acceptable and realistic;

balance accountability between everyone involved;

consistent across UK but also reflecting local interests.

3

Let us hear your views – your opinion counts

The consultation period ends on 29 March 2002. Once it is complete, we will consider the feedback we have received and make revisions to the codes in collaboration with the other Councils. The draft codes will then be submitted to Government for final approval.

A copy of this consultation pack can be found on the web on www.niscc-consult.co.uk Consultation responses can submitted by completing the online feedback form at http://www.niscc.info they can also be returned by post or email:

Post to Email
Click Here to email NISCC.
7th Floor Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ


If you require further copies of the consultation pack and/or copies in large print, Braille or ethnic minority languages please contact Andre McKeown (NISCC Information Officer) at the above address or telephone 02890 417600.

If you wish to clarify any aspect of the consultation process please contact Lorraine Simmons at the above address.
4

Draft Code of Practice for Social Care Workers Purpose

The purpose of this code is to set down the conduct expected of social care workers and to inform service users and the public of the standards of conduct they can expect from social care workers.

Social care workers are responsible for ensuring that their conduct does not fall below the standards set out in this code and that they safeguard the well being of service users.

Social care workers must to the best of their ability:

Safeguard and promote the interests of service users and carers.

Strive to maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers.

Respect the independence of service users and protect them as far as possible from danger or harm.

Balance the rights of service users and carers with the interests of society.

Take responsibility for their practice and learning.

Justify public trust and confidence in social care services.

As a social care worker you must safeguard and promote the interests of service users and carers.

This includes:

supporting people’s rights to control their lives and make choices about the services they receive;

listening to, respecting and, where appropriate, promoting the views and wishes of service users and carers;

valuing and treating each person as an individual; and

respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of service users and carers.

5

As a social care worker you must strive to maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers. This includes:

being honest and trustworthy;

communicating in an open, accurate and straightforward way;

being reliable and dependable;

honouring as far as possible work commitments, agreements and arrangements; and
declaring conflicts of interest and striving to ensure that they do not influence your judgement or practice.

As a social care worker you must respect the independence of service users and protect them, as far as possible, from danger or harm. This includes:

challenging dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and using established processes and procedures to report it;

taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person;

respecting confidential information and gaining permission from those it concerns to share it for specific reasons e.g. consultation with managers or other members of the care team.

Disclosures of confidential information without consent should be made only where they can be justified in the public interest (usually where disclosure is essential to protect the service user or someone else from risk of death or serious harm) or, where disclosure is required by law or order of a court;

recognising the potential for power imbalances in working relationships with service users and carers and using authority in a responsible manner; and

following practice and procedures designed to keep you and other people safe from violent and abusive behaviour at work.

As a social care worker you must, to the best of your ability, balance the rights of service users and carers with the interests of society. This includes:

taking necessary steps to prevent service users from doing actual or potential harm to themselves or other people; and

balancing the rights of service users whose behaviour represents a risk to themselves or other people with the paramount interest of public safety.

6

As a social care worker you must take responsibility, wherever possible, for your practice and learning. This includes:

working openly and co-operatively with colleagues and other professionals, recognising their roles and expertise and treating them with respect;

adhering to legal requirements and relevant standards of practice, and promoting and maintaining good practice;

being free from the influence of alcohol and drugs (other than proper use of proprietary or prescribed medicines) while at work;

informing your employer or the appropriate authority about any physical, mental, emotional or legal difficulties that might affect your ability to do your job competently and safely;

undertaking learning, training and development, wherever possible, to continually improve your knowledge and skills and ensure that you work, in a lawful, safe and effective manner;

being responsible for the quality of your work and contributing to the learning and development of others;

informing your employer or the appropriate authority if you do not feel competent to carry out any aspect of your work and seeking necessary supervision and training; and
dealing, as far as is reasonable, with the concerns of colleagues about their ability to carry out work you have delegated to them.

As a social care worker you must justify public trust and confidence in social care services. You must not:

abuse, neglect or harm service users or carers;

exploit service users, carers or colleagues sexually, physically, emotionally, financially or in any other way;

abuse the trust of service users and carers or the access you have to their property, home or workplace;

discriminate unlawfully against service users, carers or colleagues for any reason or condone any such discrimination on their part;

put yourself or other people at unnecessary risk;

accept personal gifts from service users or their carers, or gifts or payments from any service providers that would, or might appear to, place you under an obligation; or

behave in a manner that might damage the reputation of social care or social work, or reduce the trust and confidence of the public.

Dishonest, indecent, violent or abusive behaviour even if not directly connected to your work practice, may call into question your suitability to work in social care services.

7

NORTHERN IRELAND SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL CONSULTATION ON DRAFT CODE OF PRACTICE FOR SOCIAL CARE WORKERS CONSULTATION QUESTIONS

In order to ensure the Council gets feedback on key issues in relation to the draft code for social care workers and to assist analysis of the responses we would be grateful if you would answer the following questions.

If there are more general comments you wish to make please feel free to add them.

1. Do you think there are any omissions in the code? If so, please suggest additions.

2. Is the text sufficiently clear and succinct? If not, please suggest alternative wording.

3. The code should set acceptable and realistic standards for the conduct of social care workers. Do you think it achieves this? If not, please suggest how it could be changed in order to set more appropriate standards.

4. The code should set standards of conduct that are equally applicable to all social care workers. Do you think it achieves this? If not, please suggest how it could be changed to make it applicable to all workers.

5. Is the code sufficiently precise to be used to make formal judgements about the conduct of social care workers? If not, please suggest more precise wording.

Consultation responses can submitted by completing the online feedback form at www.niscc-consult.co.uk; they can also be returned by post or email:

Post to Email
Click Here to email NISCC.
7th Floor Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ
8

Draft Code of Practice for Employers of Social Care Workers Purpose

This code sets down the responsibilities of employers in the regulation of social care workers. The purpose of workforce regulation is to safeguard and promote the interests of service users and carers.

The code is intended to complement rather than replace or duplicate existing departmental or agency policies and it forms part of the wider package of legislation, requirements and guidance that relate to the employment of staff.

To meet their responsibilities in relation to the regulation of the social care workforce,

social care employers must:

Use rigorous recruitment and selection processes focused on making sure that only people who are suitable and competent to provide social care are allowed to enter the workforce;

Make required checks of police records, relevant registers and indexes and check that people are physically capable of carrying out the duties of the job they have been selected for, before confirming their appointment;

Inform social care staff about the council’s code of practice for social care workers and their personal responsibility to adhere to that code;

Give staff clear information about their roles and responsibilities, and the legislation and organisational policies and procedures they must follow in their work;

Regularly supervise and effectively manage staff to support good practice and professional development and to address any deficiencies in their performance;

Provide training and development opportunities to help staff to do their jobs and to strengthen and develop their skills and knowledge;

Contribute to the provision of social care and social work education and training, and provide properly resourced and managed workplace assessment and opportunities for practice learning;

Assist staff in posts subject to registration to meet the Council’s eligibility criteria for registration and its requirements for continuing professional development;

Promote and implement practice policies and procedures for staff welfare and equal opportunities, and make it clear to staff that bullying and harassment are not acceptable in the workplace;

9 Make it clear to service users and carers that violence, threats or abuse to staff are not acceptable and have clear policies and procedures for preventing violence and managing violent incidents;

Support and offer appropriate assistance to staff whose work is affected by ill health or dependency on drugs or alcohol, and give clear guidance about any limits on their work while they are receiving treatment;

Provide procedures which encourage and enable staff to report unsafe, incompetent or abusive behaviour, and deal with such reports promptly and openly;
Check whether social care staff who are the subject of disciplinary proceedings have followed the Council’s code of practice for workers;

Inform the Council about any serious breaches of its code of practice for workers by staff who are registrants and inform the staff involved that a report has been made to the Council;

Co-operate with Council investigations and hearings and respond appropriately to the findings and decisions of the Council; and Make services users and carers aware of this code and the code of practice for social care workers and inform them about how to contact the Council in relation to the Codes.

10

NORTHERN IRELAND SOCIAL CARE COUNCIL CONSULTATION ON DRAFT CODE OF PRACTICE FOR EMPLOYERS OF SOCIAL CARE WORKERS CONSULTATION QUESTIONS

In order to ensure the Council gets feedback on key issues in relation to the draft code for employers of social care workers and to assist analysis of the responses we would be grateful if you would answer the following questions. If there are more general comments you wish to make please feel free to add them.

1. Do you think there are any omissions in the code? If so, please suggest additions.

2. Is the text sufficiently clear and succinct? If not, please suggest alternative wording.

3. The code should set acceptable and realistic standards for how employers should meet their responsibilities for workforce regulation. Do you think it achieves this? If not, please suggest how it could be changed in order to set more appropriate standards.

4. The code should set standards of practice that are equally applicable to all employers of social care workers. Do you think it achieves this? If not, please suggest how it could be changed to make it applicable to all employers?

5. Is the code sufficiently precise to be used to make formal judgements about how employers are meeting their responsibilities for workforce regulation? If not, please suggest more precise wording.

Consultation responses can submitted by completing the online feedback form at www.niscc-consult.co.uk; they can also be returned by post or email:
Post to Email
Click Here to email NISCC.
7th Floor Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ
Northern Ireland Social Care Council
7th Floor Millennium House
Great Victoria Street
Belfast
BT2 7AQ
Tel: 02890 417600
January 2002


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