Principles for Implementing the Duty of Care

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Supervision notes for new staff member Principles for implementing the Duty of Care What is meant by the term “Duty of Care? “Duty of Care” means providing care and support for individuals within the law and also within the policies, procedures and agreed ways of working of your employer. It is about avoiding abuse and injury to individuals, their friends and family and their property. How the duty of care affects the work of a social care worker? Every individual should be supported and enabled to live in an environment which is free from prejudice and safe from abuse. Your responsibilities under the duty of care are to do everything reasonable within the definition of your job role to make this happen however you must be aware of potential dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights. During your work you may find yourself in situations where the individuals you are supporting do not agree with what you believe is best for them. In situations where there is a conflict of interest or a dilemma between an individual’s rights and your duty of care, it is best practice to make sure the individual is aware of the consequences of their choice and that they have the mental capacity to understand the risks involved in their choice. It is their right as an individual to be able to make informed choices about their own lives even if you disagree with their choice. You can also seek advice and information from your Manager or Senior staff. What having a duty of care means for a care giving organisation? Duty of care is a requirement that the social care worker acts towards others with the watchfulness, attention, caution and prudence that a reasonable person in the circumstances would. If the social care worker’s actions do not meet these standards of care, then the acts are considered negligent and any damages resulting may be

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