Social Care Mentoring: Choices

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 later asked to speak to another social worker who has had difficulties helping an individual using the service to make choices and to challenge decisions they don’t agree with. There is a suspicion that the social care worker has also been trying to impose their own views on the individual.

In the role play or written account, you must:

Civ Describe a range of approaches to help individuals make informed choices.

Cv Describe different ways to help an individual challenge decisions made by others (such as medical practitioners, social care workers and family members)

Cvi Explain the possible consequences if the personal views of others (such as medical practitioners, social care workers and family members) are allowed to influence the choices an individual makes.

This written account will describe a range of approaches for helping individuals make informed choices, help them to challenge decisions made by others and explain the consequences that the personal views of professionals may influence an individual’s decisions.

There are a range of approaches that can be used to ensure that an individual is able to make informed choices. First and foremost, you should ensure that they are given all the relevant information in an unbiased manner. It is also useful to communicate this information in a manner that will aid their understanding, such as by using pictorial aids. Discussing the options with the individual gives them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have and guidance from friends and family can also help. For some individuals, an advocate can be used to speak on their behalf.

Individuals have the right to challenge decisions made by others, whether it be a family member or professional (such as their GP or support worker). Individuals should be encouraged to ask questions and make comments about decisions. They should know that they can ask for a second opinion from an alternative professional or speak to a senior member of staff or a manager. If they are not happy with something, they should be advised that they can use the complaints procedure.

If a professional allows their own personal views to influence an individual’s choices, it reduces the amount of choice the individual has and could lead to their needs not being met. It could cause more stress for the individual, lower self-esteem and less motivation because they may feel that they are not in control of their own lives.