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Why You Should Not Cite DSDWEB in Your Essays

Following a recent conversation with a health and social care assessor, I discovered that some of her students are directly citing this website in their work.

Whilst I’m flattered that people deem my work worthy of quoting, I must advise against this.

Citations should be from sources that are authoritative and reliable. This could be the NHS, CQC, Skills for Care, the King’s Fund, peer-reviewed research papers or government departments.

Although I try to provide detailed and accurate information on this website to help students studying for health and social care qualifications, in the grand scheme of things I am just a guy on the Internet. I do work in health and social care (currently a team manager in a supported living setting) so I do have experience but I am not a professor in academia and do not have letters after my name!

Therefore, if you use me as a source, it is very likely that your assessor will advise you to remove it from your work.

This website should be used to gain knowledge and support you to understand what assessors are looking for in the answers that you provide. It is a great starting point and can help you to answer questions but if you require citations for your bibliography, it would be prudent for you to do further research and quote from a more scholarly source.


A Massive 88% of DSDWEB.CO.UK Visitors Find The Website Useful

The Results Are In! 88 percent of DSDWEB visitors said they found the website useful

We asked 100 visitors to DSDWEB.CO.UK if they found the website useful.

After responding, we also asked them why.

All responses were anonymous.

This post takes a look at this data and responds to the comments that we received.


Before I begin, I just want to say a big ‘Thank You’ to everyone that took the time to respond to the poll and leave their comments. Your feedback makes all the work that has gone into the website worthwhile and helps us to make it better in the future.


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As you can see, a whopping 88% of visitors found the website useful.

This tells us that the work we have put into it has not gone to waste and we are providing a useful resource to the care sector.


Twelve out of 100 website visitors did not find the website useful.

The feedback they supplied is shown below along with our reply:

  1.  all of its confusing ” – We’re sorry you find it confusing. Fill in our contact form or join our facebook group and we will try to help and clarify things for you.
  2.  Carnt find what I’m looking for ” – Apologies. If you haven’t already done so, try using the red search feature that is on the top right of every page (or underneath the main text on mobile). It may be that you are doing an optional unit that we haven’t yet published – there are over 100 optional units for Level 2 and Level 3 Diplomas so please bear with us!
  3.  Not what I wanted ” – No worries – thanks for visiting.
  4.  No time sorry” – No worries, thank you for your feedback and do not hesitate to contact us if we can be of assistance in future.
  5.  NOTHING ” – Okay
  6.  interrupting ” – We’re guessing the little pop-up box asking if you found the website useful was what was interrupting. Apologies for this but asking for feedback is important to us as it helps us improve. We only use the pop-up when we have something important to ask.
  7.  have not start using it ” – Obviously we asked you the question too soon. In future we will look at only asking visitors questions when they have visited multiple pages.
  8.  not ” – Okay
  9.  thanks ” – Okay
  10.  No ” – Okay
  11.  its crap ” – Okay
  12.  Because it’s not giving me the answer I need ” – As stated earlier, there are a lot of optional units that we haven’t written/published yet but we will get there in the end.

The main points seem to be:

  • Some people can’t find what they are looking for
  • Some people just clicked ‘No’ to get rid of the pop-up box asking them the question

Next time we run a poll we will try to give an option to just close the pop-up rather than having to give an answer to close it. We will also steam ahead with getting more optional units onto the website to make it more comprehensive.


The comments of those that found the website useful are below:

  1.  it is clear and concise
  2.  has helped me with mu assignment 
  3.  descriptive answers
  4.  good 
  5.  good 
  6.  helpful 
  7.   is good for my work.
  8.  Has giving me ideas as to how communication needs to be looked at. 
  9.  Informative 
  10.  helped me with my studies 
  11.  corse work 
  12.   a lot of information
  13.  brilliant
  14.  Things are explained well ,very useful 
  15.  o 
  16.  gives good information
  17.  superb
  18.  its amaing
  19.  good 
  20.  l 
  21.  useful info for diploma 
  22.   gives answers to questions i need to answer 
  23.  clear and concise 
  24.  helps me wiyh my nvq
  25.  it gives me some examples of information for what I need
  26.  Answer to my question
  27.  hello
  28.  gave me an idea what to write on my own work
  29.  great 
  30.  It has given me the correct way to answer questions. 
  31.  eeererr 
  32.  OK 
  33.  It had the ifo I needed 
  34.  Helping me very much in my course work
  35.  I am doing my N.V.Q and need help. Thank you. 
  36.   It had a good description which helped with my work, but you could go into a little more detail
  37.   it is easy for me understand. thank you. 
  38.  good 
  39.  It helped me understand and learn more skilful knowledge. 
  40.  Lots of little refreshers to help you understand questions 
  41.   Helpful 
  42.  great 
  43.  This website helps the thought process kick into gear. It provides the start of the discussion for the student to develop further in their own words. Thanks! 
  44.  Sick website my g 
  45.  info is brilliant
  46.   ***** 
  47.   Yes
  48.  I didn’t know how to word my answer and this helps 
  49.   YES 
  50.   Thank you 
  51.  it has enriched my knowledge in health and social care. 
  52.   i have received relevant and helpful answers 
  53.   because its got simple explanation to some questions along with good examples
  54.   helps explain questions ang gives examples 
  55.  very useful 
  56.   ; 
  57.  information has been presented clearly and easily understood
  58.  yes good examples 
  59.  find the answer
  60.  it has hone and improve my skills 
  61.   yes 
  62.  very helpful to giveing information to support learning 
  63.   Helps me with my work 
  64.   good information 
  65.   I’m terrible at putting my thoughts down the right way, and really understanding what the question is asking.
  66.  got me an answers 
  67.   It’s provided me with the answers I require for my assignment. 
  68.  ok 
  69.   Very helpful 
  70.  because im doing the care certificate. Helps me put into words the knowledge I already have which is 30+ years experience 
  71.   i’m here to find some answers ,for my NvQ LEVEL2 
  72.  All the answers are available and it helps individuals doing this course to understand the care certificate and standards.
  73.  Good material to study 
  74.  . 
  75.   Useful information 
  76.  wait 
  77.   doing my diploma
  78.  its useful
  79.   helped with my level 3
  81.  just helpful 
  82.  amazing I feel its guiding slowly and am so happy I found it. 
  83.  I fund all info for my nvq level 2 ,but im not copy paste,i wil use my skils to add
  84.  it helps with areas that I as a brand new staff member haven’t learnt yet in the course of my job 
  85.  Saved me time 
  86.  Informative
  87.   still on it 
  88.   Clear information

Lots of positive feedback there (as well as a few random comments).


Te data we received from running this poll (thanks again to everyone that took the time to answer) will be used to shape the website going forward.

Although we are helping a lot of people, there is still room for improvement and we will continue to develop and get better. We will do this by:

  • Getting more optional units online
  • Creating a less intrusive poll
  • Looking at the structure of the website to see if we can make navigation more intuitive

Next time we run the poll, we want to get over 90% of visitors finding the website useful.

In the meantime, if you have any suggestions on how to improve the website, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Explore with the individual ways of coping with situations and circumstances which trigger behaviour they wish to manage

Study Notes

NOTE: This page also relates to 4.5 Work with the individual to identify and agree strategies and 4.6 Support an individual to develop and practise the agreed strategies

Having identified the triggers of a behavioural response and the motivation to change it, you will want to work with the individual to find ways of coping with the difficult situations and circumstances that cause it.

To be completed…

Support an individual to identify situations and circumstances which trigger specific behavioural responses

Study Notes

To change negative behavioural responses to more positive ones, it is essential that an individual is able to identify the specific situations and circumstances that trigger them.

For example, an individual may tear up their clothes when they are hungry as a way of communicating to their staff that they would like some food. This behaviour may have come from their past history whereby they were inadvertently neglected by care staff but learned that when they tear clothes up their care staff give them attention which invariable ends up with asking if they would like a snack.

You would support the individual to identify that this behaviour occurs when they are hungry and a more appropriate behaviour would be to inform staff that they are hungry or even get themselves some food. If the individual has difficulty communicating verbally, it may be necessary to teach them the Makaton sign for food or invent their own sign that their staff will understand.

Other situations or circumstances that may trigger behavioural responses can include:

  • Basic needs not being met (tired, hungry, thirsty, cold etc.)
  • Boredom
  • Feeling a lack of freedom
  • Wanting something e.g. toy, sweets, ornament etc.
  • Others being too loud
  • Others not understanding
  • Feeling isolated

Explain to an individual the positive outcomes of managing behaviours

Study Notes

The previous post discusses working with an individual to find motivation for changing behaviours. It will also be useful to discuss with them some of the positive outcomes that you envisage from them managing their behaviour in a more positive way.

Some examples of positive outcomes include:

  • Having more friends/better relationships
  • Intrusive interventions will not have to be used
  • Better health and wellbeing
  • Better financial situation

Work with an individual to identify and agree the factors which will motivate them to manage their behaviour

For an individual to successfully make adjustments to manage their behaviour, they must have the right motivation. They must have a good reason to make the necessary changes because changing habits is difficult so there must be some sort of incentive in them to put in the requisite effort.

Motivation will vary between individuals and the right motivation for a particular person will depend a lot on the things that are important to them or what makes them ‘tick’. You will need to discuss with the individual what they think will be the right incentive for them to encourage behavioural change.

It is also useful to ensure that the motivation is directly related to the behaviour change (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly, they are more likely to get a girlfriend). There are times when it may be necessary to have an unrelated incentive (e.g. if an individual washes themselves and their clothes regularly they reward themselves with an extra chocolate bar each week), however for long-term success it is important that the motivation comes directly from the behaviour itself.

Some examples are:


Behaviour to manage betterMotivation
Telling liesPeople will be more likely to believe them in future
Assaulting othersWill not be detained under the MCA again
Damaging own propertyWill have more money to buy other things
Verbal abusePeople will be more likely to listen

Encourage the individual to consider the impact of their behaviour

Following a behaviour by an individual, it will be useful to encourage them to consider the impact that their behaviour has had on themselves and others as part of a debrief.

This can help an individual understand the consequences that their behaviour has and can build motivation to manage it better in the future.

Some of the repercussions of the behaviour may be:

  • Injury to self or others
  • Exclusion from activities in the future
  • Friends/family/staff not wanting to associate with them
  • Embarrassment
  • Damage to or loss of property (own or others)
  • Financial costs
  • Police intervention/prosecution/litigation
  • Upset, anger or sadness to themselves or others
  • Being late for an activity or the activity being cancelled
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased health or hygiene

Support the individual and others to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations

Part of your role as a health and social care worker will be to support individuals (and others) to recognise their behavioural responses to different situations.

To do this, you will first need to have spent time with an individual and understand the kind of situations that may result in an inappropriate behaviour. This information could be obtained from observations or previous experiences as well as from the individual’s family, other professionals and their care plan.

You can help an individual recognise their behavioural responses before, during and after a situation has occurred.

If a behaviour is regular you can discuss it with them using their preferred communication methods whilst they are at baseline. You may want to discuss the triggers for the behaviour, the behaviour itself, the negative consequences of the behaviour and what they might like to try in future to manage the behaviour and obtain a more favourable outcome.

When a situational trigger occurs, you can help an individual to manage it by offering support and guiding them through the alternative behaviours that you may have previously discussed.

After a behaviour has occurred and the individual has returned to baseline, it will be useful to have a debrief and discuss the repercussions of the behaviour (this could include positive reinforcement if they have managed the situation well).

Describe why it is important to establish a professional relationship

Study Notes

It is important to establish a professional relationship so that the individual understands that although you would like to help them, there are professional boundaries that must be maintained.

This can include things like disclosing information that has been told to you in confidence for safeguarding purposes and not meeting up outside of work. The difference between personal and working relationships can be found here.

Initially some individuals may not want to have a relationship with you at all – they may be disengaged or confrontational. It is important to work hard on these relationships and over time build rapport, common interests and trust to increase the efficacy of the support that you provide.

The more time you spend with an individual to help and support them, the more trust you will establish and this will pave the way to the individual being more accepting of any ideas you have to help them to manage their behaviour.

Describe the potential effects of the environment and the behaviour of others on individuals

The potential effects that the environment and the behaviour of others can have on individual include:

  • Discomfort e.g. too hot, too cold, too noisy, too quiet, too cluttered etc.
  • Other’s behaviour may scare or intimidate
  • Other’s behaviour may be mimicked
  • Boredom, under-stimulation
  • Unexpected circumstances
  • The communication of others
  • Level of support and guidance

Explain how factors relating to the individual can affect behaviour

Study Notes

There are many factors relating to an individual that can affect their behaviour. Some examples include:

  • Self-image/self-esteem – if an individual has a low level of self-esteem they may be caught up in a viscious of cycle of having behaviours because they feel everyone hates them and feeling everyone hates them because they have behaviours.
  • Health (mental and physical conditions) – illness and disease may make individuals feel weak, angry, upset, depressed etc. unless they are able to find a way to accept and manage it
  • Communication skills – if an individual cannot communicate their needs using appropriate methods such as speech, the may resort to inappropriate methods such as aggression
  • Psychological state – if an individual is in a high emotional state (e.g. angry, upset, frustrated etc.) about something they are more likely to display a behaviour
  • History/Learned behaviours – if an individual has learned that a particular behaviour results in their desired outcome, they are more likely to do it again. Similarly, if they have had an upbringing where inappropriate behaviour was considered ‘normal’ they are likely to use these methods
  • Personality – introverted or extroverted individuals will display different behaviours

Describe the methods and approaches available to help an individual manage their behaviour

Study Notes

There are several methods and approaches available to help individuals manage their behaviour. Sometimes it may be necessary to try a number of methods to identify what works best for each unique individual.

Some examples include:

  • Discussion of possible consequences of behaviour whilst individual is at baseline
  • Risk perception – helping an individual assess risks realistically
  • Modelling – displaying appropriate behaviour in situations can help individuals learn (from example) how to manage those situations themselves
  • Be open and honest with indivduals
  • Encourage independence and choice
  • Use breathing techniques or meditation
  • Identify at the need (tangible, escape, attention, sensory) and teach individual more appropriate behaviours to fulfill that need
  • Help individual recognise early warning signs and triggers
  • CBT
  • Encourage use of prescribed medication (as per doctor’s instructions)
  • Support individual to set goals
  • Use praise when individual manages behaviour appropriately

Describe the relationship between legislation, policy and practice in relation to supporting individuals to manage their behaviour

Study Notes

Legislation is the legal framework upon which policies are based. Care practitioners must ensure their practice adheres to local and organisational policies to ensure that they remain within the law and bet practice.

Legislation such as the Human Rights Act means individuals are free to make their own choices even unwise ones.

Policies such as safeguarding policy will mean that carers cannot agree to confidentiality with clients for certain information passed to them (such as disclosure of abuse) because they have a duty of care to pass this information onto relevant agencies or person(s).

Demonstrate how reflection on own role in an incident of challenging behaviour can improve the promotion of positive behaviour

I always reflect upon my own role following an incident of challenging behaviour because this helps me to recognise and understand my own feelings after the event as well as take an objective look at what I did well and what I could have done better.


This reflection allows me to come up with ideas and strategies for handling future incidents differently and improve my skills as a support worker. If I feel I have done something incorrectly I will speak to the individual to get their opinions and ask them what I should do differently in future. I may also obtain guidance from my colleagues and manager.

Work with others to review the approaches to promoting positive behaviour using information from records, de-briefing and support activities

The importance of documentation and record-keeping is realised when it comes to reviewing approaches and support plans for an individual. Using the information gathered from records, debriefings and activities, the support team and the individual concerned can come up with strategies to help promote positive behaviour and prevent challenging behaviour, which will contribute towards their well-being.


For example, I worked with a client who would get very aggressive in the mornings when support staff prompted him to have a bath. Using the information from the incidents reports, my team and I ascertained that one of the reasons for his behaviour was that he was still quite groggy and tired in the mornings, so we asked him if he would prefer to have a bath in the early evening instead. The client agreed to this and the incidents of challenging behaviour at bath time decreased dramatically.

Work with others to analyse the antecedent, behaviour and consequences of an incident

Following an incident, it is the policy of my company to fill in an ABC chart. This should be filled in by support staff that were present during the incident, however it is always useful to speak to the individual themselves as they are best placed to know the reasons for their behaviour. Getting cooperation from the individual also helps them to reflect on the incident.


ABC charts have three columns; A for antecedent (what happened before the incident), B for behaviour (what happened during the incident) and C for consequences (the consequences of the behaviour).

Describe the steps that should be taken to check for injuries following an incident of challenging behaviour

Following an incident of challenging behaviour, individuals should be checked for injuries, ideally by somebody that was not involved in the incident. If physical interventions were used, it is important to carefully check for injury on the areas where physical contact took place. First aid should be applied where necessary, however if first aid is not sufficient the emergency services should be called. It is also important to record any injuries on the incident report.

Demonstrate how to debrief others involved in an incident of challenging behaviour

As mentioned above, my company’s policy is to have a post-incident review within 72 hours of an incident happening, which gives everybody involved a chance to air their views about how they were and are feeling in a non-judgemental way. It may also be necessary to speak privately to individuals about an incident. I will also usually pass on my incident report to everybody involved to ensure they agree with it and I haven’t made any mistakes and/or omissions.

Describe the complex feelings that may be experienced by others involved or witnessing an incident of challenging behaviour

Having witnessed and been involved in quite a few incidents of challenging behaviour, I know that they can bring about feelings of anger, anxiety, upset, depression and guilt. They can also bring about positive feelings such as pride in how you handled a situation and improved self-confidence and self-esteem when you have done a good job.


Describe how an individual can be supported to reflect on an incident including how they were feeling after the incident

An individual can experience a wide range of emotions after an incident including embarrassment, anger, pain, guilt and sorrow. It is important that they have the opportunity to discuss these feelings to help them move on from what happened. By discussing these feelings, an individual will be able to apologise to anyone they have hurt, have changes made to their support plans to prevent repeat occurrences and learn lessons from the experience.

Describe how an individual can be supported to reflect on an incident including the consequence of their behaviour

The individual should also be encouraged to discuss the consequences of their behaviour. these could be positive (e.g. they got they what they wanted) and/or negative (e.g. they damaged one of their possessions) and they will often be linked with negative feelings (which are discussed in the next question).

In many cases, the consequences of the individual’s behaviour will be negative – they may have hurt themselves or broke something that they cherish or hurt somebody or been arrested. By being open and non-judgmental with the individual, you can help them to understand that are no better off because of their actions and are most probably worse off because of them, which can help make it less likely of a future incident occurring.

Describe how an individual can be supported to reflect on an incident including their behaviour

It is also important to discuss the incident itself so that the individual can develop responsibility for their actions and work on trying to stop it happening again in the future. Again, it is useful to not attribute blame on the individual and be sympathetic towards them as they may be suffering with complex feelings of guilt or embarrassment. Asking the individual what they hoped to achieve by their actions can be useful and it may be necessary to discuss with the individual what interventions they would like staff to use if this behaviour re-occurs.

Describe how an individual can be supported to reflect on an incident including how they were feeling at the time prior to and directly before the incident

Part of my company’s Challenging Behaviour Policy is to have a post-incident review within 72 hours of the incident ending. This gives everyone involved (both clients and staff) an opportunity to speak frankly about what happened, how they felt (and still feel), the triggers that led to the incident and what can be done to prevent a similar incident in future.


It is important to try not to apportion blame during this review, try to understand the point of view of others and come up with practical solutions to avoid these sorts of situations in the future.


The individual who exhibited challenging behaviour should be encouraged to discuss how they felt before the incident happened and what they think could have been done to prevent the incident. This information is vital to adjusting the individual’s support plan so that the triggers that caused the behaviour can be avoided in future.

Demonstrate methods to support an individual to return to a calm state following an incident of challenging behaviour

Again, the methods used to help an individual return to a calm state after an incident of challenging behaviour will be person-centred.


For some of my clients, simply leaving them alone to calm down themselves works well. For others, it may mean talking to them and giving them lots of attention – especially if the reason for the incident was because they felt they were being ignored. Some clients may need to get into bed and have a nap to return to a calm state and others may need to listen to soothing music.

Demonstrate how to complete records accurately and objectively in line with work setting requirements following an incident of challenging behaviour

Following an incident of challenging behaviour, I am required to fill out an incident report and an ABC chart. These should be filled in objectively, sticking to the facts and be free from my own views and opinions about the incident.


The incident report is an objective and detailed account of what happened and the ABC chart is an overview of what happened before, during and after an incident. A copy of our Incident Reporting Policy and Procedure is attached to this document as evidence.

Explain the steps that are taken to maintain the dignity of and respect for and individual when responding to an incident of challenging behaviour

Maintaining the dignity and respect of an individual is of the utmost importance when responding to incidents of challenging behaviour. Physical interventions should never be used unless there are serious risks to the individual or others and even then, the minimal restrictive force necessary should be used.

Demonstrate how to respond to incidents of challenging behaviour following behaviour support plans, agreed ways of working or organisational guidelines

The response required for incidents of challenging behaviour are person-centred and so will vary from individual to individual, as outlined in their support plans. For example, one individual I work with will cease their challenging behaviour if they are ignored, whilst another may need to be distracted with music.


As well as knowing and understanding the individual, there are some responses that are universal when responding to challenging behaviour including those outlined in best practice and in my company’s Challenging Behaviour Policy & Procedure, which is attached to this document.


It is also necessary to write and maintain reports of all incidents of challenging behavior and contact other professionals if necessary including the police, GP, psychologist or social worker.

Identify types of challenging behaviours

Types of challenging behaviour include:


  • Self-injury (e.g. headbutting a wall, biting own arm)
  • Aggressive behaviour (e.g. hitting, screaming, verbal abuse, spitting towards others etc.)
  • Inappropriate sexual behaviour (e.g. masturbating in public, exposing genitals etc.)
  • Damage to property (e.g. breaking windows, kicking in doors, smashing up guitars etc.)
  • Stealing

Demonstrate how to model to others best practice in promoting positive behaviour

Sometimes it is necessary to model best practice in promoting positive behaviour to other people so that they can learn from example. Modeling best practice can be directed towards clients, colleagues, families, friends, health and social care professionals and members of the public.


For example, a common occurrence in my role as support worker is when I am out shopping with an individual and the shopkeeper addresses myself instead of the individual that is making the purchase. When I am asked a question by the shopkeeper, I do not answer for the individual but instead repeat the question to them so that they can answer for themselves. Usually, after doing this once, the shopkeeper will continue by addressing the individual and not me.


Another recent example is when I supported an individual to go to the dentist – something that they were very anxious about. Upon entering the room with the dentist, I told the dentist that I was really proud of the individual for building up the courage to come here today. The dentist took the hint and also gave the individual lots of praise.

Highlight praise and support positive aspects of an individual’s behaviour in order to reinforce positive behaviour

Positive behaviour can be reinforced by using praise and encouragement when an individual does something good.


For example, I work with an individual who is occasionally incontinent when out in the community. We put a support plan in place for staff to remind him to go to the toilet before going out. Several months later, we were getting ready to go out and he went to the toilet himself without being prompted. When he came out of the bathroom I told him how awesome he was for remembering to go the toilet and how proud I was of him and he repeated this positive the next time too, and he now remembers about 90% of the time.


I also worked with an individual that became very agitated at the thought of going to the dentist, so much so that staff had given up trying to persuade him to book an appointment. Over the course of several months, I observed that he always brushed his teeth twice a day and I praised him for his routine and how he kept his teeth in great shape. On occasions, I would also make a point of telling him how sparkling white his teeth looked and how I wished I’d taken care of my teeth as well as he does. Then, one day I mentioned to him that his teeth were so great, he should probably show them to a dentist so that they could see what a fine job he was doing and make sure there weren’t any problems at the back where he couldn’t see himself. After a little consideration, he happily agreed. After the dental appointment, I praised him for having a checkup and explained how much I admired him for conquering his fears. He’s never had a problem going to the dentist since.