7.8.1 Code of Practice for Social Work Staff

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This is a copy of the Code of Practice for Social Carers, published by the Health and Care Professions Council, which has been adopted by this authority.

Copies of the code of practice can be obtained from;

Health and Care Professions Council,
Goldings House,
2 Hay Lane,
London
SE1 2HB

Tel: 020 7397 5100
Health and Care Professions Council Website

This Chapter must be read in conjunction with Children’s Policy, Values and Principles.


Contents

  1. The Role of the Health and Care Professions Council
  2. The Codes of Practice


1. The Role of the Health and Care Professions Council

The Health and Care Professions Council was established in October 2001 under the Care Standards Act 2000, as the guardian of standards for the social care workforce in England.

Their job is to increase the protection of service users, their carers and the general public by regulating the social care workforce and by ensuring that work standards within the social care sector are of the highest quality.

As well as promoting high standards within the social care sector, they also champion social care and to help give it the recognition it deserves.

The Health and Care Professions Council’s website can be found here


2. The Codes of Practice

1.

As a social care worker, you must protect the rights and promote the interests of service users and carers.

This includes:

  • Treating each person as an individual;
  • Respecting and, where appropriate, promoting the individual views and wishes of both service users and carers;
  • Supporting service users’ rights to control their lives and make informed choices about the services they receive;
  • Respecting and maintaining the dignity and privacy of service users;
  • Promoting equal opportunities for service users and carers;
  • Respecting diversity and different cultures and values.
2.

As a social care worker, you must strive to establish and maintain the trust and confidence of service users and carers.

This includes:

  • Being honest and trustworthy;
  • Communicating in an appropriate, open, accurate and straightforward way;
  • Respecting confidential information and clearly explaining agency policies about confidentiality to service users and carers;
  • Being reliable and dependable;
  • Honouring work commitments, agreements and arrangements and, when it is not possible to do so, explaining why to service users and carers;
  • Declaring issues that might create conflicts of interest and making sure that they do not influence your judgement or practice;
  • Adhering to policies and procedures about accepting gifts and money from service users and carers.
3.

As a social care worker, you must promote the independence of service users while protecting them as far as possible from danger or harm.

This includes:

  • Promoting the independence of service users and assisting them to understand and exercise their rights;
  • Using established processes and procedures to challenge and report dangerous, abusive, discriminatory or exploitative behaviour and practice;
  • Following practice and procedures designed to keep you and other people safe from violent and abusive behaviour at work;
  • Bringing to the attention of your employer or the appropriate authority resource or operational difficulties that might get in the way of the delivery of safe care;
  • Informing your employer or an appropriate authority where the practice of colleagues may be unsafe or adversely affecting standards of care;
  • Complying with employers’ health and safety policies, including those relating to substance abuse;
  • Helping service users and carers to make complaints, taking complaints seriously and responding to them or passing them to the appropriate person;
  • Recognising and using responsibly the power that comes from your work with service users and carers.
4.

As a social care worker, you must respect the rights of service users while seeking to ensure that their behaviour does not arm themselves or other people.

This includes:

  • Recognising that service users have the right to take risks and helping them to identify and manage potential and actual risks to themselves and others;
  • Following risk assessment policies and procedures to assess whether the behaviour of service users presents a risk of harm to themselves or others;
  • Taking necessary steps to minimise the risks of service users from doing actual or potential harm to themselves or other people;
  • Ensuring that relevant colleagues and agencies are informed about the outcomes and implications of risk assessments.
5.

As a social care worker, you must uphold public trust and confidence in social care services.

In particular you must not:

  • Abuse, neglect or harm service users, carers or colleagues;
  • Exploit service users, carers or colleagues in any way;
  • Abuse the trust of service users and carers or the access you have to personal information about them or to their property, home or workplace;
  • Form inappropriate personal relationships with service users;
  • Discriminate unlawfully or unjustifiably against service users, carers or colleagues;
  • Condone any unlawful or unjustifiable discrimination by service users, carers or colleagues;
  • Put yourself or other people at unnecessary risk;
  • Behave in a way, in work or outside work, which would call into question your suitability to work in social care services.
6.

As a social care worker, you must be accountable for the quality of your work and take responsibility for maintaining and improving your knowledge and skills.

This includes:

  • Meeting relevant standards of practice and working in a lawful, safe and effective way;
  • Maintaining clear and accurate records as required by procedures established for your work;
  • Informing your employer or the appropriate authority about any personal difficulties that might affect your ability to do your job competently and safely;
  • Seeking assistance from your employer or the appropriate authority if you do not feel able or adequately prepared to carry out any aspect of your work, or you are not sure about how to proceed in a work matter;
  • Working openly and co-operatively with colleagues and treating them with respect;
  • Recognising that you remain responsible for the work that you have delegated to other workers;
  • Recognising and respecting the roles and expertise of workers from other agencies and working in partnership with them;
  • Undertaking relevant training to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills and contributing to the learning and development of others.

End