Differing values, beliefs and personal experiences between people can affect the way they feel around one another and can lead to conflict, however it is important to respect the views of others and try not to let it interfere with working practice. For example, I have a strong belief that fishing is a cruel sport and really do detest it, however I have still supported clients to go fishing on many occasions because otherwise I would be depriving them of the liberty to make their own choices. I have also worked with individuals that have done some very despicable things in their past but I try not to judge them and treat them with the same compassion that I give everybody. It is also important for me not to treat those that do share similar values and beliefs to me more favourably than those that don’t. By being non-judgmental and compassionate, I am able to communicate well with individuals and learn to understand other people’s point of view, which in turn helps reduce conflict and increase compromise.
The individuals above can help me to appreciate my strengths and weaknesses because they may be more experienced than me or have had more training in a particular area. They may also provide ideas and insights that I do not notice myself or explain something from their point of view that I may not have even considered without their input.
As mentioned previously, my manager can help develop my knowledge, understanding and practice by giving me feedback in my supervisions, appraisals, observations and professional discussions. Other members of my team are also a good source of information and the individuals I support and their families can also offer me insights into what I need to improve. Other professionals can also offer advice about the way I work.
Support for planning and reviewing your development can be obtained from many sources. Asking for feedback from colleagues, clients, client’s families and other professionals can help identify areas of development to consider. Quarterly supervisions and annual appraisals can also be used and mutually agreeable targets between yourself and your manager can be set. Quarterly observations and professional discussions can also be useful. Team meetings are also a great forum to discuss the service provision. Externally, you can get support online from a myriad of Internet sites as well as formal training on personal development.
A Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a record of a social care worker’s professional achievements over time. By keeping an up-to-date PDP, a social care worker can see how their knowledge, understanding and practice has progressed as well as the current objectives and goals. Also, writing a PDP forces a social care worker to think about any gaps in their knowledge or areas where they would like to perform better and design a roadmap to get to their objectives. In addition, it provides evidence of continuous improvement to others.
Design a template for a personal development plan (PDP) that you could use to improve your learning, development and professional practice. For each heading in the template, provide a brief summary describing what should be included.
|Goal (the outcome to be achieved)||Milestones (for longer goals, mini-objectives along the way)||Target date (the goal/milestone should be complete by this date)||Other info (any other info e.g. support of others, extra tasks that need to be complete, equipment required to complete goal etc.)|
|Complete Diploma Level 3||Unit 302
|Also need to complete observations and Functional Skills|
|Complete in-house ‘Working with Forensic Clients’ workshop||31/01/16||Need to book myself on workshop before Xmas|
|Research Anger Management therapies for people with learning disabilities||28/02/16||Use library and internet to look at studies and clinical trials regarding helping people with learning disabilities to control their anger. Write up results and implement.|
You arrange a mentor meeting to feed back to the social care worker. You have comments to make which include both praise and constructive criticism.
Write notes to prepare for your meeting. In your notes, explain:
- Why is it important for a social care worker to seek feedback on performance?
- The different ways that people may react to receiving constructive feedback.
- Why it is important for a social care worker to use feedback to improve their practice.
Notes in preparation for mentor meeting with John to ensure all major points are covered.
24/11/16 11:00am at Office
Importance of seeking feedback
Explain to John that seeking feedback is a very important part of the role of a Social Care worker because it allows us to improve the service we provide to the clients and and become better at our jobs.
We can get feedback from our peers, managers, subordinates, our clients, our client’s family/friends and other professionals. Similarly, we should give feedback to others in an effort to help them improve. We should also be proactive and ask others for feedback about our work.
As well as helping us with our professional development, feedback can also make us feel appreciated and encourage us to continue doing what we do well or make changes where necessary.
Reactions to receiving feedback
Ideally, John will thank me for the feedback, ask questions, take it on board and continue to improve his work. Hopefully, he will also feel motivated and encouraged by the positives I raise.
However, I should be prepared that he may be offended by the constructive criticism and become defensive, upset or angry. This could result in him trying to avoid or change the subject or blaming other factors for the problems. He could also possibly walk out of our meeting or reluctantly agree to everything I say. Another reaction would be that he becomes anxious and worry about his work.
I must ensure that I keep calm myself and stick to the facts, offer solutions and remind John about the reasons for feedback and its importance. If necessary, I may also need to reassure him.
It is important that social care workers use all the feedback that they receive to continually improve their practice. Feedback can help identify areas where you work well as well as areas where you may need more experience or additional training. Without feedback, a social care worker would be oblivious to any areas of their practice that they could do better or are not performing up to the required standards. By using feedback, not only do you improve your own practice but also the practice of whole service. It also demonstrates that you are willing to listen to others and develop new insights and ways of thinking.
Create a guide for the new social worker for about how to reflect on their practice. The guide must include the headings listed with an explanation of each.
- What is reflective practice?
- Why is reflective practice important?
- How reflective practice contributes to improving the quality of service provision.
- How standards can be used to help a social care worker reflect on their practice.
This guide is intended for new starters at Care Company Ltd to explain the concept and importance of reflective practice in your role as a social care worker.
What is reflective practice?
Reflective practice is a technique that uses your experiences as a social care worker to help you to improve the way that you work..
You can use reflective practice in all aspects of your work but it is most useful following particularly difficult experiences. All you need to do is think about an aspect of your work (what you did, how you felt when you were doing it) and then critically analyse your actions and ask yourself how you could have done it better. Next time a similar situation arises, you can use the knowledge you have garnered from your reflective practice to aid you. The image below depicts a typical reflective cycle:
Why is reflective practice important?
Reflective practice is a vital skill to have in the health and social care sector because we want to continually strive to improve ourselves and the services that we provide. By analysing the way we work, we gain valuable insights into what we are doing and how we might do it better.
For example, John is a Support Worker for Client X. One evening after dinner, Client X refuses to do his washing up, despite John persistently prompting him to do so for 5 minutes, so John does his client’s washing up for him. Before going to sleep, John runs through these events in his mind and asks himself how he was feeling at the time. He acknowledges that he felt tired as he and Client X had been on a long bike ride in the daytime. And because he was tired, he didn’t want to get into a long debate about why his client should do the washing up and thought it would be easier if he just did it himself. It then occurs to him that his client was probably also very tired from their bike ride and that may be the reason he didn’t want to move off the sofa. He also remembered that his client is generally very neat and tidy and probably wouldn’t have been comfortable going to bed with dirty plates at the sink. On reflection, he deduced that it is very likely that Client X would have done his washing up before bed (if John hadn’t of done it for him). John concludes that he shouldn’t have done the washing up and should have left it for Client X to do in his own time instead. John makes a mental note to leave the washing up next time Client X refuses to do it.
How reflective practice contributes to improving the practice of service provision
Reflective practice can be used to continuously improve not only your own practice but the practice of your service as a whole. By sharing the insights that you and others have gained from your own reflective practices you can work together to change the way you work for the better. And, as everybody improves their work, by using reflective practice, the entire service provision improves.
How standards can be used to help a social care worker reflect on their practice
Standards can help you use reflective practice because they can provide you with the core values and guidelines within which you should work. For example, the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England provides guidance about how care workers should work and act in a compassionate and safe way. During your reflective practice, you should ask yourself if you are working within these guidelines and if not, then you can ensure that you adjust your practice to be in line with it next time.