It is important that everybody involved in an activity understands and can apply the principles of active participation. This means acknowledging that the individual is present by speaking to and directly addressing them. Everybody should also be aware of the individual’s communication need, for example they may need speak in short sentences of 2-3 keywords and avoid using long words. Everybody should be given the time to speak and express their opinions and where conflicts arise, everybody should work in partnership to discuss the issue and find a suitable compromise. Individual’s should be encouraged to listen, ask questions and challenge things that they do not agree with.
Active participation can be used to support all aspects of an individual’s preferences and needs because the individual will have a big say in how their care and support is provided. When an individual is encouraged to take an active role in planning their support they are better able to live the life that they choose in the way that they want. This can result in more opportunities to get involved with activities and social interactions which can lead to better health and wellbeing, more self-confidence and more independence.
Active participation is a way of working that recognises an individual as an active partner in their care and support by acknowledging that they have the right to participate in activities and relationships of everyday life however they wish and as independently as possible. It promotes the rights, independence and choice of the individual.
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.
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.