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In this essay I will define client empowerment in planning care as it is applied to adults, especially adults at risk of neglect and abuse, and explore how care management policy aims to empower clients. There is a dilemma in Mr Bankss case which appl

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Planning Care for Adults Balancing risk management, and client empowerment in planning care In this essay I will define client empowerment in planning care as it is applied to adults, especially adults at risk of neglect and abuse, and explore how care management policy aims to empower clients. I will then look at the notion of risk management, and explore what risks are associated with care and support for older people, using the example of Mr Banks as my case study. I will evaluate how risk can be minimised, managed and monitored, including risks to the health and welfare of informal carers. Care planning is a way of agreeing, arranging and managing the services or help needed to enable a person to live at home or to move into a residential or nursing home. It is the process of developing an agreement between the client and the social worker, where client problems, outcomes to be achieved and actions to be pursued in support of a goal achievement are identified. It involves noting both formal and informal services and intended results in a written document. In the assessment stage of care planning, each service user receives an assessment of their care needs and must meet appropriate criteria for the services to be provided. When a service or services have been arranged, a care plan will be written and a copy given to the user. ...read more.


Social workers have developed various models of care and working, some of which are more empowering than others. For instance the system of direct payments in lieu of service provision, whereby service users are given financial autonomy, gives them greater choice about how care is delivered and thus greater control over their lives. However, this carries associated risks in that service users thus empowered may make unwise payment decisions or be unable to make real choices. There is also scope for abuse by carers. The appearance of empowerment may therefore prove illusory. Similarly, it is a general principle within social work practice that where possible, service users should be allowed the choice of remaining at home. Social services departments across the country are committed to the implementation of policies which develop individualised, person centred approaches to service provision and maximise choice (based perhaps in a Kantian analysis of individual moral autonomy based in rational choice). However, this means that risk assessments need continuously to be carried out of the risks associated with person centred interventions, such as the additional dangers and challenges clients may face if they remain at home. In other words, with empowerment comes risk and this risk needs to be assessed. The process of assessing risk begins when a referral or request is made for services. ...read more.


(Review of services provided to adults with specific needs arising from physical disability, learning disability, mental health difficulty, sensory impairment, or brain injury, and to their carers, is undertaken within the context of the NHS and Community Care Act 1990 and the Disabled Persons Act 1986.) Banks S (2001) noted that respect for people's right to self-determination can conflict with risk management. However, users' rights are not absolute and may be limited by a higher duty to self or by the rights of other individuals, the social worker, agency or community. A person's autonomy can be impeded by the actions or inactions of others when, for example, there is an identified risk such as accident or assault at home. In other cases a person can adversely affect his autonomy. Some people, whether from choice or incapacity, look after themselves poorly. This may begin as an autonomous choice, but the resulting poor health and well-being undermine future capacity for autonomy. Some people refuse repeatedly offers of help, or prefer not to undergo the formal processes of being taken into care of public services bureaucracies, However, where need seems to exist but demand for service does not, autonomy is liable to be eroded whatever course of action is taken. Many service users of community care services suffer from dementia, mental illness etc. They are judged to have some limitations of mental competence: in some circumstances it may seem that they cannot make major life decisions with the proper degree of understanding. ...read more.

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4 star(s)

A good piece of work which highlights the tensions faced when trying to implement client

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 05/04/2013

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