Learn, Do Not Copy!

Duty of Care: Supervision Notes

As an experienced social care worker you have been asked to mentor a new social worker. You plan to use a supervision session to explain about the duty of care and how this helps to protect individuals from harm and abuse.

Prepare a set of notes to help you in this supervision session.

In the notes, you must include an explanation of:

Ai What is meant by the term “duty of care
Aii How the duty of care affects the work of a social care worker
Aiii What having a duty of care means for a care giving organisation
Aiv How the duty of care contributes to safeguarding individuals


Notes for supervision with John to explain and discuss duty of care in the role of the social support worker.

What is Duty of Care?

Duty of care is the moral or legal obligation to ensure the safety and well-being of other individuals. We all have a duty of care towards the clients that we support, whether this be ensuring they take their medication or making sure that their home is free from dangerous hazards. It can also mean working with other professionals on the client’s behalf, such as getting advice from their GP if they refuse their medication or contacting the police or social services safeguarding team if you have suspicions that there has been abuse. It is also important to remember that our role involves promoting choice for individuals, sometimes in difficult circumstances and to take choices away from them would constitute as abuse in itself.

How Does Duty of Care Affect Our Work?

Social care workers are bound to work with the law as well as adhering to company policies, procedures and agreed ways of working (e.g. CQC’s Key Lines of Enquiry). It is also advisable to follow the Code of Conduct for Healthcare Support Workers and Adult Social Care Workers in England. Risk assessments may need to be written for certain activities and situations.

Practically, this involves things like reporting hazards, keeping records of incidents and contacting other professionals (e.g. GP, social services, psychologist etc.)  when needed. It also means ensuring individuals have all the facts necessary to make informed choices and to respect their choice when they make it (even if we don’t agree with it ourselves).

What Does Having Duty of Care Mean For Our Organisation?

Duty of care benefits the organisation as a whole because it means that all employees work within the same guidelines and ensures that everyone has the best interests of the clients in mind. It also means that the environment is safe for all and that the organisation is working within legislative boundaries.

How Does Duty of Care Contribute to Safeguarding Individuals?

Duty of care is very important in safeguarding individuals because everyone will be working to agreed standards that protect our clients from abuse. We have reporting procedures in place to ensure that any potential risks or suspicions of abuse can be documented and escalated swiftly and a whistleblowing procedure that allows employees to report any suspected wrongdoings by their employer without any backlash. All of these factors contribute to a safe working and living environment for all.

Diversity, Equality, Inclusion & Discrimination Leaflet

Your work setting is running an induction course for new social care workers in an adult social care setting.  

Create a leaflet which can be used to support this course.

The leaflet must include the following:

a)      A description of the legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality,  inclusion and discrimination.
b)      An explanation of the possible consequences for individuals, social care workers and  others if the legislation and codes of practice are not followed.
c)       A description of how inclusive practice can promote equality and support diversity.
d)       An explanation of how to support others to promote diversity, equality and inclusion.


DIVERSITY – Valuing individual’s differences and talents

EQUALITY – Ensuring all individuals have equal opportunities, regardless of abilities, background or lifestyle

INCLUSION – Making all individuals feel included, valued and respected

DISCRIMINATION – Treating individuals differently or worse based on certain characteristics


The EQUALITY ACT 2010 makes it unlawful to discriminate against someone because of their:


  • Age
  • Disability
  • Race
  • Gender reassignment
  • Pregnancy/Maternity
  • Religion/Belief
  • Sex
  • Sexual Orientation


This Act brings together all previous anti-discriminatory legislation including the equal pay act, the sex discrimination act, the race relations act and the disability discrimination act.


The CARE QUALITY COMMISSION (CQC) that regulates service providers requires that all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, which incorporates that everybody should be treated as equals.

The CODE OF CONDUCT FOR HEALTHCARE SUPPORT WORKERS AND ADULT SOCIAL CARE WORKERS requires that we promote equality and inclusion for all individuals that use our services.

We also have policies prohibiting discrimination in the workplace.


If a care worker does not follow these laws and codes of practice, they should expect to be confronted about it by others. It could also lead to disciplinary action, suspension or dismissal from their role and could even result in legal action being taken against them.

The individual that is discriminated against is likely to feel sad, upset and angry and it could lead to low self-esteem and low self-confidence.

The care provider could be given a warning, lose their registration or be prosecuted.


You can promote equality and support diversity in your day-to-day role by using Inclusive Practice.

This means treating everyone that you work with as individuals and with respect and dignity regardless of their social identity.

This does not mean that you need to treat all individuals in the same way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! You should try to increase your understanding of other individual’s social identity, recognise the difference and respond appropriately.

You should not make assumptions or promote stereotypes of individuals. Neither should you use language that an individual may find offensive or not be able to understand.

You should also be aware that your own social identity may have an impact on individuals.

Ensure that all individuals are given the same opportunities and try to encourage them to join in and be part of the group.

If you know of any special talents an individual may have, encourage them to share them with the group.


You can support others to promote equality, diversity and inclusion by challenging any discrimination that you encounter and educating people as to the reasons why it is wrong.

You can give people copies of this leaflet or direct them towards the Equality Act, codes of practice or company policies.

The company should also provide training on equality, diversity and inclusion.

By being a good role model you will exemplify best practice and encourage others to do the same.

Describe three verbal and three non-verbal communication methods and styles that a social care worker may use in an adult care setting


VerbalNon verbal
Speaking – The most obvious form of verbal communication is by speaking in a language that both parties are familiar with. It is also important to ensure that the vocabulary used is appropriate for the individual and situation.Touch – Touch can be used to express different feelings to an individual. For example, a pat on the back when they have done something good can make them feel proud and happy or holding their hand when they are having an injection can display compassion and empathy.
Voice Tone – Tone of voice can have a massive influence on how something is communicated. For example, if you gently ask an individual “What’s the problem?”, it will convey that you are interested in the situation and want to offer assistance, whereas if you yell “WHAT’S THE PROBLEM!?” at an individual it would be conveyed as confrontational and aggressive.Gestures – A gesture is a movement of a part of the body to express and idea or meaning and can be used instead of or in addition to verbal communication. For example, holding your thumb up can be used to say ‘yes’ or that something is ‘okay’ and a wave of the hand could mean ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’.
Written – Verbal communication can also take the form of writing. In an adult care setting , there are many documents and records that need to be kept up to date including Daily Records, Medication Administration Records and Finances. Written records must always be accurate and legible.Facial expressions – Facial expressions is a great way of ascertaining an individual’s mood. Smiling often means an individual is happy and frowns usually mean the individual is sad about something. If an individual has a confused look on their face when you are explaining something, it probably means you need to explain it again or if they are grimacing, it may mean that they are in pain.

Mentor Meeting Feedback Notes

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:

  1. Why is it important for a social care worker to seek feedback on performance?
  2. The different ways that people may react to receiving constructive feedback.
  3. 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.

Using feedback

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.

Define the terms: sexuality, sexual health, sexual orientation and sexual expression

Sexuality is the capacity for sexual feelings. Sexual health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being with regards sexuality. Sexual orientation is the gender to which an individual is attracted to. Sexual expression is the expression and experience of sexuality.