A brightly coloured individual on a pedestal surrounded by a ring of other individuals representing a definition of person centred values

Explain how the likelihood of abuse may be reduced by: working with person centred values, encouraging active participation, promoting choice and rights, supporting individuals with awareness of personal safety

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The likelihood of abuse occurring within a care setting can be reduced greatly by working with and promoting person-centred values and supporting individuals to have an awareness of their own personal safety.

Person-centred values includes promoting an individual’s rights and especially their right to choice. By supporting individuals to make their own decisions you are encouraging independence, which will also have a positive affect on their confidence, self-esteem and general wellbeing.

Individuals that understand that they have choices and are supported with this are less likely to be abused because they are more likely to feel that they can say no, stand up for themselves and report anything they do not feel is right to others.

Similarly, the promotion of active participation encourages individuals to take an active role in their care planning, which gives them the opportunity to communicate any concerns that they have or anything that they may feel is not right. It also affords them the chance to change things in relation to their care that they feel is not working in the way that they expect. Active participation also involves ensuring that an individual has everything they need to be as independent as possible. The less dependent an individual is on others, the less likely it is that others will be able to take advantage of them.

This is why person-centred, individualised care is so important. If the individual is at the centre of their care planning then they have the power to choose and control the way they are cared for, it limits the risk of unfair or harmful treatment.

The likelihood of abuse and neglect can also be reduced by supporting individuals with an awareness of their own personal safety. This can take the form of formal training, group discussions or one-to-one chats that educate the individual of their rights, ways to reduce their vulnerability and practical steps about what to do if they feel they may be a victim of abuse.

Example question and answer

Describe some ways that can reduce the likelihood of abuse in a care setting

There are many ways to reduce the likelihood of abuse within an organisation.

Person-centred values is an approach to care work that all care staff should be encouraged to follow. It involves treating a client as an individual and including them in any decisions that need to be made regarding their care and support. A client’s person-centred values can be described as individuality, independence, privacy, partnership, choice, dignity, rights and respect. Not only do these values teach staff best working practices but also helps vulnerable people have a say in the support they receive and help them to feel empowered. This results in a staff team that has the mindset to support client’s best interests, reducing the likelihood of abuse. In addition, risk of a abuse is lowered when individual’s have active participation in their care provision because they are more likely to understand their rights and know when something might not be quite right. They will also be more likely to speak up if they have concerns. This goes hand-in-hand with promoting an individual’s rights and choices. Client’s should be free to make their own life choices and take calculated risks as long as it is unlikely to harm themselves or others or is illegal.

Personally, I treat everyone with the same level of respect that I would expect to receive myself, so person-centred values come naturally to me. I encourage all clients to take an active role in planning their activities and inform them of their rights in a manner that they understand when applicable. I also try to allow them the freedom and independence to be in control of their own lives, only stepping in to provide guidance if I feel that their actions may be detrimental to themselves or others.

Another way to reduce the likelihood of abuse is to have an accessible complaints procedure in place. This gives an individual a voice and a course of action should they feel they are being treated inappropriately.

All my clients are aware of the complaints procedure we have in place and know that they can have assistance in filling it out if they need to. Sometimes this results in false complaints such as when a client put in a complaint about a member of staff because he didn’t have enough money to buy a phone charger and failed to understand that it was not the member of staff’s fault but the fact that he had already spent all his money on something else but it is important that the system remains in place to catch any legitimate complaints. Our complaints procedure was used to great effect when a member of staff was permanently moved without warning to another service, resulting in the clients becoming upset because they had a great working relationship with said member of staff. The clients asked me what they could do about it and I informed them that although head office could put staff in whichever service they deemed fit, the client’s opinions could be passed on via a complaints form. I helped the clients to fill in their complaints (ensuring only what they said was documented and with another member of staff present to act as witness) and passed them on to head office. The client’s views were read by senior management and they made a u-turn on their decision.

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