Social Care Mentoring: Consent

NOTE: Please be aware that the information on this page is a very rough draft and has not been fact-checked so should be used accordingly (taken with a pinch of salt)! However, it should (hopefully) give you some pointers and set you off in the right direction.

You are a senior social care worker and have been asked to mentor a colleague who is finding it difficult to understand the importance of obtaining consent from individuals receiving a service.

In the role play or written account, you must:

Ci Describe the different factors that might affect an individual’s ability to express their view.

Cii Explain different ways of gaining consent to activities or actions.

Ciii Explain what to do if the social care worker cannot gain consent or is unsure of the response.

This written account will explain the importance of gaining consent from an individual, how consent can be gained and what to do if consent is not given.

Gaining consent before giving care is extremely important in an adult social care setting, not only because it is a legal requirement but also because it demonstrates respect for the individual, develops trust and because it is easier to provide care to someone that is willing to accept it.


An individual’s ability to express their view could be compromised by several factors. Firstly, they may not have the mental capacity to make an informed choice or may be unable to communicate verbally. They may have physical disabilities that make communication difficult. There may be language barriers, for example with an individual that doesn’t speak English or the individual may not have been given enough information to make an informed choice.

Consent can be given in many different ways. Primarily, verbal consent will be used after the caregiver has explained what they are going to do and requested permission to do it, however an individual may consent with gestures, such as nodding or using sign language. Written consent can also be obtained, or for individuals that do not have the mental capacity to give consent themselves, an advocate can give consent on their behalf.

Care should not be given if consent is not obtained, or even if you unsure if the individual has given consent. You should seek guidance from senior staff or from the individual’s family or advocate and document that consent was not given.