principles of personal development in adult social care settings

TASK 1: Understand what is required for good practice in adult social care roles. 1.1 Identify standards that influence the way the adult social care job roles are carried out.

The duties and responsibilities required by my employer are not the only requirements of working in social care. The regulator in the UK country where I work will require that you follow a code of practice for employers of social care workers that would list out the duties and expectations for everyone who works in that sector. Having a code of practice is important in social care due to the fact within this sector you are working with people that are very vulnerable in society. They have a right to expect a certain standard of work, moral and ethical behaviour. In order to be employed in social care in the UK there is a requirement to be registered. This means having or working towards a certain minimum level of qualification and agreeing work within the code of practice that sets out the required behaviour.

Standards that are applicable to my role as social care worker are the National minimum standards, this is used by the commission for social care inspection (CSCI) to inspect the quality of care in services.

National Occupational Standards – UK Standards of performance where people are expected to achieve in their work, knowledge and skills they need to perform effectively. Competence, demonstrating the skills and knowledge required by the National Occupational Standards.

As a social care worker I will have criteria to guide my practice and be clear about what standard of conduct I am expected to meet. You are encouraged to use the codes to examine my own practice and for areas in which you can improve. In social care as the employer you will know what part you are expected to play in the regulation of the workforce and the support of high quality social care. You are encouraged to review my own standards of practice and policies in keeping with the standards set in the code. As a user of services or member of the public the codes will help you to understand how a social care worker should behave towards you and how employers should support social care workers to do their jobs well.

Task 1.2: Explain why reflecting on work activities is an important way to develop own knowledge and skills.

Reflection is the examination of personal thoughts and actions. For practitioners this means focusing on how they interact with colleagues and with the environment to obtain a clearer picture of their own behaviour. There are two fundamental forms of reflection on action and reflection in action. Understanding the differences between these two is important as it will assist practitioners in discovering a range of techniques they can use to develop their personal and professional competences. Reflection and action is perhaps the most common form of reflection as it involves carefully re running in my own mind events that have occurred in the past. The aim is to value my strengths and to develop different more effective ways of acting in the future. Reflection- on Action:

Being a participant observer in situations that offer learning opportunities. Attending to what I see and feel in my current situation, focusing my responses and making connections with previous experiences. Being in the experience and at the same time adopting a witness stance as if you were outside it.

Task 1.3: Describe ways to ensure that the personal attitudes or beliefs do not obstruct the quality of work. The elderly are the greatest users of the health system, so it is an advantage to provide care support and assistance in the best possible way with good positive attitudes. It is quite normal for many people to live to live for 20 to 40 years after retirement. Therefore it is essential that they are assisted to have a rich quality of life in the best health possible. This means independence or near independence will be maintained and if they are hospitalised their good health will possibly ensure a speedier, stronger recovery. Many elderly people hold distinguished high profile positions all over the world. Many
retire and commence a new career, and others certainly develop new interests. They must be encouraged and allowed to develop and contribute their skills and potential, and not be squeezed “out of sight out of mind”. As people adjust to their adjust to their disabilities when necessary, they omit or compromise on some activities, go slower but still participate mentally and physically when they want to or required to. The elderly have developed over a lifetime, characteristics that are particular to them. There are some well documented medical and nursing texts describing normal changes with aging affecting physical appearance, stature, senses (vision, hearing, teeth and smell), appetite and digestion, tactile sensation, skin, sexual activity and sleep. Most people could tell you some or all of the changes but they may not be correct.

There are normal changes but the broad community also assumes some changes are normal when that is not so, there are myths as well. It is essential for everyone to understand that the elderly are worthwhile, that they are worth treating and that they are just like anyone else. Treatment may not be as aggressive as for a younger person and it must be recognised that the elderly are slower so need more time and consideration. This is practiced in specialist gerontology areas, but the elderly are the majority of patients in many hospitals, so they are in other wards or units as well. Staff in these areas are known to suggest that they be handed to the geriatric team or ward as soon as possible, sometimes because they are seen to be difficult or not worth anymore consideration. The persistence of negative attitudes perpetuate the myths, which is a tragedy when the majority of elderly people live at home, lead purposeful lives and often see their contemporaries as old, but not themselves. With the aged population increasing and the governments’ financial cake decreasing it means there will be less money for the pension and other assistance. The negative view of the elderly which has developed probably due to the image of youth and vitality promoted particularly by the media must change. Old people should feel valued, be respected for their knowledge and experiences and be given opportunities to make choices. Possession of good health is probably the most important element for a meaningful old age because it induces activity. The elderly must not be seen as a decrepit, debilitated lot draining the country but as useful contributing members of society.

Task 2 Understand how learning activities can develop knowledge, skills and understanding. Task 2.1: Describe how a learning activity has improved own knowledge, skills and understanding. I have learnt a lot about communication verbal and non-verbal and listening techniques, so I have learnt the following listening and understanding. Listening can be difficult especially if my elderly client have tried to talk over others for years. When people are able to take a step back and actually listen to another person whilst they are speaking, the pathway to closeness and understanding becomes very clear. But for this to happen, you’ve got to practice it especially if it’s not ones strong point. These are the seven points I have learnt from working with elderly clients: 1. Refrain from thinking of a response before the individual has finished talking. 2. Do no interrupt the individual, if you do apologize

3. Nod when the individual is speaking, this will show you are listening and you are engaged in conversation. 4. Ask for additional details on the subject the individual is talking about. 5. Summarise the conversation on several occasions, this demonstrates you’ve been paying attention 6. Repeat the last few words on occasion again, this shows you are engaged in the conversation. Ask plenty of questions if you run if it becomes a situation where the discussion is a complaint. At which point you should find something in the complaint to agree with. You will find even when the individual has a wild exaggerated complaint, there will always ne something you find to agree with.

Task 2.2 Describe how reflecting on a situation has improved own knowledge skills and understanding. Reflection is the way in which we examine our experiences and draw lessons from them. There are several reasons why reflection is crucial to learning. Reflection can help to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and between off-job learning and job application. Reflection and real work problems can help to identify how best to apply what we know in practice. Reflection can help to deal with ambiguity, stress and change. In our work we often have to cope with new, unique problems we have not met before. The ability to reflect is essential to recognising and confronting the uncertainty we feel as we try to deal with these problems.

Reflection leads to critical awareness. Reflection allows us to look critically at our own behaviour, the behaviour of other people and at the organisation and social context within which we operate.

Task 2.3: Describe how feedback from others had developed own knowledge, skills and understanding.

Feedback is a type of communication that we give or get. Sometimes feedback is called “criticism” but seriously limits the meaning. Feedback is a way to let people know how effective they are in what they are trying to accomplish or how they affect you. It provides a way for people to learn how they affect the world around them and it helps us to become more effective. If we know how other people see us, we can overcome problems in how we communicate and interact with them. Of course there are two sides to it giving feedback and receiving it. Getting Feedback

Some people experience feedback as pure criticism and don’t want to hear it. Others see it as spiritually crushing; a confirmation of their worthlessness. Still others only want to hear praise, but nothing that might suggest imperfection. That’s not the case for everyone, of course some people are willing to accept feedback and seek out, even if it is sometimes disturbing because they believe they can grow from it. It comes down to whether you believe feedback will harm or benefit you. This is not to say that we should always have to accept feedback or the manner in which it is sometimes given. We all have the right to refuse feedback and we can accept feedback to be given in a respectful and supportive manner. But for every positive and open way of accepting feedback, there’s an opposite, a negative and closed manner which pushes feedback away and keeps it at bay.

Task 3 Know how a personal development plan can contribute to own learning and development. Task 3.1 Define the term “personal development plan”.
A personal development plan is the process of creating an action plan based on awareness, values, reflection, goal-setting and planning for personal development within the context of a career, education, relationship or for self-improvement. It will usually include a statement of one’s aspirations, strengths or competencies, education and training, and stages or steps to indicate how the plan is to be realized. Personal development plans may also include a statement of one’s career and lifestyle priorities, career positioning, analysis of opportunities and risks, and alternative plans (Plan B).

3.2 Identify who could be involved in the personal development plan process. The manager with direct responsibility for the member of staff must refer to this advice in relation to discussions with the employee in question, and draw on advice from the appropriate adviser.

The Personal Development Plan should help the employee, where necessary, to enhance existing skills or knowledge, and/or develop new skills or areas of expertise, so that the employee can effectively fulfil) an existing role but where the responsibilities increased to a level that merits regarding to a higher grade or b) an alternative role at a grade equivalent to the employee’s previous grade.

The PDP provides a framework for:
‐ Prioritising development support in relation to a) and/or b) ‐ Planning the related activities in an appropriate sequence and within appropriate timescales ‐ Monitoring progress within those timescales

‐ Evaluating outcomes in terms of skills, knowledge or expertise.

Task 3.3 Identify sources of support for own learning and development. The support for my learning and development includes the following to name a few but not limited to one:

• Legal requirements
• Assessor
• Trainers
• Manager
• Team
• Mentor
• Colleagues
• Senior staff
• Other Professionals
• Books
• DVDs
• Magazines
• Internet
• Courses
• Training Sessions
• Supervision and Appraisal

Task 3.4 List the benefits of using a personal development plan to identify on going improvements in own knowledge and understanding.

The benefits of using a personal development plan to identify on going improvements in own knowledge and understanding is that it helps one to focus on what they want to achieve in their career and the steps to take the achieve such. It helps to develop greater self-awareness of training needs that are required to do a more fulfilling job for myself and most importantly the clients you work with and the organisation. The PDP will increase understanding my own of how to meet identified needs or criteria of my job therefore making the job more fulfilling. It provides evidence of actions that have been identified to improve own knowledge and understanding. And finally it helps to keep you motivated in the job, therefore helping me to excel within my job.

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