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Define person-centred values

This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2021 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) defines person-centred values as:

… carrying out your role in a way that respects the people you work with so that they can live the life that they choose to.

We all have our own values, which dictate how we behave and the things that we believe are important. As a care worker, it is your professional duty to work with a set of values that respect and empower the individuals that you support.

Essentially, person-centred values are values that have the individual at the core. In an adult health and social care setting, the individual would be the adult that is receiving care or support.

The individual should be considered an expert adviser in the management of their care plan – no-one knows or understands their particular needs, desires, likes, preferences, wishes etc. more than they do themselves!

Historically, care packages have been put together out of convenience by the provider and without the collaboration of the individuals who receive the support. However, this can lead to care packages that are not suitable for the individual – even the most well-meaning care worker can get it wrong if they do not consult with the individual.

Old-fashioned views and opinions consider that individuals with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, dementia and other illnesses that affect cognition are unable to make sound choices for themselves and that others are needed to make decisions on their behalf be it family, social workers, care workers etc. Whilst there are still cases where others must act in the best interest of individuals (for example, if an individual is detained under the mental health act), many individuals are fully capable of making their own choices. It is against the law for care workers to deny this right without justification and is classed as abuse (see the Human Rights Act 1998, the Equality Act 2010 and the Care Act 2014 for further information).

Person-centred values are also about treating individuals with dignity and respect. Part of this, as stated above, is not restricting individuals from making their own choices (even if you do not agree with them yourself). It also encompasses communication, seeking consent, privacy and independence.

By working with person-centred values at the forefront of your practice, you can give the individuals that you work with a better quality of life and help them to establish their own identity and raise their self-esteem.

Below is a list of person-centred values that should inform you practice:

  • Choice – individuals should be able to make their own choices as much as possible
  • Rights – care workers should uphold the rights of the individuals that they support
  • Dignity – care workers should uphold the dignity of the individuals that they support
  • Privacy – care workers should respect the privacy of all the individuals that they support, both in terms of personal space and confidentiality of their personal information
  • Respect – care workers should be respectful of the individuals that they support, including respecting their views even if they do not agree with them
  • Individuality – care workers should respect and encourage each individual’s unique characteristics
  • Independence – care workers should encourage as much autonomy as possible
  • Partnership – individuals, care workers and other stakeholders should work together to provide care solutions
  • Empowerment – care workers should empower individuals to make their own choices and maintain their independence as much as possible