I understand that you are thinking about working in social care and you would like to know a bit about the term “Duty of Care” and how this term is applied in the social care work environment. I have written down the key points about the term and its implications, I hope that they are clear.
The term “Duty of Care” is applicable to anyone in a caring profession and at every level of the work force. At its most basic it means putting the people cared for in the service at the heart of everything the service does. This means that no action or omission by any employee should harm the service user. It means a responsibility of employees to understand and prioritise the needs, interests and opinions of service users at all times, and to always have their safety and welfare foremost in mind.
The standards of care we have a duty to provide are made evident by both National policy and guidelines, such as the General Social Care Council Code of Practice, and at a local level by each care providers’ Policies and Procedures documents. There will be overlap between National and Local recommendations for practice but altogether both will set out what are acceptable employee standards and what should occur if standards are not met.
On a personal level, most of my working day involves considering facts such as “Is a service user safe in this environment?”; “What would this service user prefer to do in this environment?”; “Has this service user’s needs been met?” etc.…