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Promote and support an individual’s own sense of identity, their self-esteem and their wellbeing


This page is designed to answer the following questions:

NOTE: This page has been quality assured for 2023 as per our Quality Assurance policy.

An important part of a care worker’s role and responsibility is to support, promote and encourage an individual’s sense of identity, self-esteem and well-being.


Well-being can be thought of as an individual’s health and happiness. Several factors can contribute to the well-being of individuals, including:

  • Physical health – physically healthy individuals can do more of the things they like to do and do them independently
  • Mental health – good mental health means individuals are less likely to be overwhelmed by negative emotions and beliefs, which can stifle their day-to-day life
  • Making a contribution to society – whether in a paid or voluntary role, giving back to society can make an individual feel valued as well as give the opportunity to learn new skills
  • Good social networks – socialising with friends and family can make an individual feel valued and promote self-esteem, as well as being a great way to relax and unwind
  • Financial stability – many individuals worry about their money, and their financial situation can have an impact on what they can do (e.g. activities and socialising may be restricted if they don’t have enough money, leading to isolation)
  • Sufficient sleep – lack of sleep can lead to tiredness and fatigue
  • Healthy diet – a healthy diet is essential to maintaining physical health
  • Regular activity – similarly, regular activity also contributes to good physical health and can also provide opportunities to socialise
  • Self-worth – being valued by oneself and others leads to higher self-esteem and confidence
  • Confidence – with confidence, individuals are more likely to make and maintain relationships and participate in activities
  • Positive outlook – having a generally positive outlook in life can help individuals deal with disappointments better
  • Choice and control – being free to make their own choices gives individuals control over their own lives
  • Having fun – enjoying oneself gives opportunities to relax and unwind as well as participate in activities and socialise with others

Attitudes, behaviours and approaches that promote well-being


To promote an individual’s well-being, you should do your best to support them to ensure they are happy and content with as many different aspects of their life as possible.

This can include their social relationships, beliefs (spirituality and religion), political views, sexuality, cultural views, physical and mental health and contributions to society (both paid and voluntary work).


You can do this by ensuring that your own attitudes and behaviours are positive and supportive. This can include:

  • listening (with genuine interest) and understanding
  • being respectful in all communication
  • being mindful of each individual’s need for dignity
  • being non-judgmental
  • being compassionate and empathetic
  • offering encouragement
  • not imposing your own views that may be very different from theirs
  • assisting them with finding groups or activities they may wish to participate in
  • helping them to make the changes to their lives that they want

Setting a good example in your own practice helps to contribute to a working environment and culture that promotes well-being.

And, of course, following agreed ways of working, your own continuous learning and development, safeguarding, carrying out your duty of care and performing health and safety responsibilities can also contribute to an environment that supports well-being.


Contribute to an environment that promotes well-being

You can also help to create an environment that promotes the well-being of individuals in several ways:

  • ensure that furniture and furnishings are clean and well-maintained
  • encourage individuals to decorate their own personal spaces with their possessions, such as photographs of family or ornaments
  • ensure noise levels are low, temperatures are comfortable, and lighting is adequate
  • encourage a positive atmosphere and workplace culture
  • ensure staff are well-trained and well-led
  • encourage individuals to actively participate in their care
  • promote the rights of individuals

Support and encourage a sense of identity and self-esteem


It is also important for a care worker to support and encourage an individual’s sense of identity, self-worth, self-esteem and self-confidence, which also contributes towards their overall sense of well-being.

This can be achieved by embracing person-centred values and encouraging an individual to be as independent as possible in their day-to-day life. Even simple choices like choosing what clothes to buy and wear and what time to go to bed can promote an individual’s identity and self-esteem.


You should get to know the individuals that you work with so that you can provide care that meets their needs and preferences. By taking a genuine interest in them, you can help them to feel valued and respected, as well as maintain a working relationship that is built on mutual trust. By talking to them about their experiences, you can gain a better understanding of their self-image and identity.

Reporting concerns


If you ever have concerns about an individual’s emotional and spiritual well-being, you should always report it to the relevant person.

This may be your manager or supervisor, a carer or a family member.


By highlighting your concerns, you allow the person or organisation responsible for an individual’s well-being to investigate and take action.

Example question and answer


Your work is running a campaign to improve staff understanding of all aspects of person-centred care.

You have been asked to create a guide for social care workers which:

  • a)    Describes ways they can ensure the environment promotes well-being;
  • b)    Explains why it is important to support individuals in a way that promotes their identity, self-image and self-esteem.



This guide was created to be read by social care workers and will help you to ensure that well-being is promoted in your environment and that the way you support individuals promotes their identity, self-image and self-esteem.

Ensure an Environment Promotes Well-Being


Some factors which can affect an individual’s well-being are their physical health, positive social interactions, having their cultural, spiritual, religious and political views respected and being able to contribute to their care and support package.

You can ensure that the environment you work in promotes well-being by keeping it clean and free from hazards. Individuals can be encouraged to eat healthily and get regular sleep and exercise, as well as have the opportunities to partake in activities that they enjoy and socialise with friends and family in accordance with their preferences.


An individual should feel safe and comfortable in their environment. This could mean dimming the lights, adjusting the temperature or minimising noise levels depending on their needs.

Individuals should be given the opportunity to contribute to their care and support, and their wishes and preferences should be respected and included in their care & support plan. Similarly, an individual’s cultural, religious, spiritual and political views should be respected.


Why You Should Promote Identity, Self-Image & Self-Esteem

An individual’s identity is all the traits that make them unique and the roles that they play in society. This includes their intellect, likes/dislikes, goals, achievements, skills, talents, beliefs, emotions and behaviours. An individual’s self-image is how they see themselves and how they believe that others see them. Their self-esteem is the evaluation they make about their identity and self-image, which can either be negative (low self-esteem) or positive (high self-esteem).


It is important to try to promote the positive aspects of an individual’s identity and encourage them to have a positive self-image because this will, in turn, help them to develop higher self-esteem.

This means being complimentary about the positive aspects of their identity, but being careful to remain truthful and not sound patronising. Building a rapport with an individual by asking questions about themselves is a good way to get them to think about themselves. When they talk about something good in their lives, you can reinforce this positively (by giving praise, for example).


With continued positive reinforcement of an individual’s identity over the long term, their self-image will improve, and their self-esteem increase. This will result in the individual having more confidence and a generally happier outlook in life.


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