Duty of Care

Task 1 1. 1 What it means to have a duty of care in your work rol? Duty of care can be defined as “an obligation, recognised by law, to avoid conduct fraught with unreasonable risk of danger to others”. Every teacher and school authority owes a duty of care to take reasonable care to ensure that their acts or omissions do not cause reasonably foreseeable injury to their pupils. („The Law Handbook”. ) A duty of care is a legal obligation imposed on an individual requiring that they adhere to a standard of reasonable care while performing any acts that could foreseeable harm others.

In general, a practitioner owes to each of his children whilst under his control and supervision a duty to take reasonable care for the safety of the children. This involves attention, watching out for anything that can go wrong, prevention and making wise choices about steps taken in a role. Frequently, if a duty of care is not met in a role that requires it, then the responsible person can be held accountable for allowing negligence to occur. Duty of care is the “fundamental obligation that anyone working in child care, whatever the type of service and whatever their role, is to keep children safe”. Marilyn Hopkins LLB, Dip. Ed.. (March 2006). DUTY OF CARE My duty is to create a safe, happy, positive, stimulating, multicultural learning environment in which children can be cared for. This will involve giving appropriate attention in particular tasks to ensure no one is harmed, watching out for potential hazards i. e. risk assessments preventing mistakes or accidents and making wise choices about steps undertaken in a role. To ensure that toys and equipment are maintained, clean and safe to play with or use. To keep a daily register, first aid box and other relevant records as required.

A duty of care should also extend to parents, as they expect practitioners to use their knowledge and expertise to care for children properly. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework provides assurance to parents and carers that early years providers will keep their children safe and help the children to thrive. 1. 2 How duty of care contributes to the safeguarding or protection of individuals Duty of care contributes to safeguarding, meaning that we plan out a detailed risk assessment to make sure the wellbeing of the babies, children and young people are safe in what they’re doing.

If we work in nursery or school as a child care worker then this is our main responsibility to provide a safe and healthy environment for children . Give children care and support. Ensure they are enjoying school. When we do an activity or before starting an activity we have to check that the place is hazard free . Duty of care contributes to the safeguarding or protection of the individual child by having a number of policies and procedures to follow ensuring that a child’s health and safety is paramount. This is done by daily checks, risk assessments, fire drills so children are aware of where to go and what do to. „Five principles for implementing duty of care”) Duty of care comes under safeguarding, this includes steps we must take to make sure the children feel safe and secure and protected from neglect or abuse. So they stay safe and healthy. In my role I have a duty of care to raise any concerns I may have about any aspect of my work. These can range from inadequate working conditions, poor equipment, poor practice by other staff; to raising concerns about potential abuse cases and situations of neglect. Tak 2 2. 1 Potencial conflicts or dilemas between the duty of care and an individual’s rights.

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In situations where there is a conflict of interest or a dilemma between an individual’s rights and my duty of care, it is best practice to make sure the individual is aware of the consequences of their choice and that they have the mental capacity to understand the risks involved in their choice. It is their right as an individual to be able to make informed choices about their own lives. („Recognizing achivment” – OCR) Conflicts and Dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and individuals rights could be staff having a difference of opinion over a child…

Another dilemma would be knowing when to break confidentiality and share information. If you have any concerns about a child or feel they are at risk you need to share them and report it, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Example of potential conflict or dilemma in the setting: A child refuses to eat their lunch at the nursery. How to manage this situation? Fruit is available all day and the fact that they haven’t eaten is recorded to ensure parents are made aware. Where to get additional support and advice? I would consult with the childs parents for advice on likes and dislikes, and strategies which would help at mealtimes. . 2 – How to manage risks associated with conflicts or dilemmas between an individual’s rights and the duty of care. It is the right of every individual in our care to make choices and take risks. It is our role to assist them in making those choices and reducing the risks without compromising their rights. An individual may be restricted if his or her behaviour presents a serious risk of harm to his or herself or to other people. (Principles to implementing duty of care). The duty of care could conflict with children’s rights to have experiences wich facilitate their development and learning.

An element of challenge and risk taking in children’s play, is essential in enabling children to learn how to predict and avoid dangerous situations. (Children and Young People’s Workforce –Level 3 diploma)As a carer I have a duty of care to that individual and must do everything in my power to keep them safe, whilst at the same time respecting the individual’s right and choice. It is important to allowing children explore with guidance, making children aware of potential hazards and dangers, allowing children to acquire life skills through learning how to cope with risky situations… . 3 Explain where to get the additional support and advice about conflicts and dilemmas. Support and advice could be obtained from: * our manager or headteacher or lead, supervisor, committee chairperson, SENCO * our setting’s paperwork – policies, procedures, contract, publications, framework pages, laws * our colleagues * Where appropriate the settings parent partnership * Advisory teacher services * Local safeguarding teams * Local children and information services – early years development officers * Local health visitor * Local behavioural support team Child protection team * Other professional service providers: speech therapy, fire safety, police, life guard… Task 3 3. 1 Write o description of how to respond to complaints. Complaints should never be ignored. Parents have responsabilities to ensure their children’s welfar and to complain if they feel that a setting is not exercising sufficient duty of care. Complaints should be handled in ways wich are guided by a preplanned procedure, to ensure that families rights are properly supported. (Children and Young People Workforce) Responding to complaints includes: A timeframe – private place to discus, have a cup of cofee, being respectful, listen carefuly and make notes… record the informations – A verbal response – give some additional information, or an explanation of our setting’s procedures – A mutally agreed time – place for a meeting. Agree together any actions that need to be carried out. – A written response if it’s nedeed. – accessing the Complaints Policy – Follow up – where if the matter remains unresolved the complaint needs to be put into writing for a higher authority’s awareness. – final meeting confidentiality is also very important. It is important that our nursery runs smoothly and that parents and us staff work together in benefit for the children. In event of complaints from either staff or parents every effort will be made to respond quickly and appropriately and the following procedures will be followed. When a complain is made to a member of staff, we would have to inform our nursery manager as soon as possible. If any parents or carers consider that their concerns have not been satisfactory resolved they might want to write a letter to head of operations.

Written complains will be recorded and dated in the nursery’s complaint book. We all know that parents have the right to make direct contact with office for standards of education (Ofsted) about any complaint made. 3. 2 The main points of agreed proceedures for handling complaints A complaints procedure sets out a plan of actions that ensure the complainant knows what to expect and reassures the practitioner/carer that they’re following a series of steps that can be considered as complying with legal requirements or ensuring best practice.

There may be both formal and informal options. Main points of agreed procedures for handling complaints include: -A complaint is a ‘complaint’ – not ‘feedback’ or ‘comments’ -The complaind handaling procedure (CHP) should be easily found in the service provider’s public information -The CHP should be presented online and offline and in formats that recognise the varying needs of service users -Details of where to complain, who will deal with the complaint and how long it will take should be made clear. Guidance on a Model Complaints Handling Procedures). 1 – the Complaints policy is a recorded and documented procedure that is available 2 – the complainant is listened to and respected 3 – the Complaints Policy is time-based and the complaint is dealt with in a documented time-frame. 4 – complaints are normally dealt with by nominated members of staff 5 the procedure is clear

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