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In this essay I will explore the ways in which individuals in care settings are enabled to find their voice and express their thoughts. I will look at the carers approach to collecting and recording this information.

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´╗┐In a modern world where people have the opportunity to speak exactly what?s on their mind, how do we support people who can?t easily express themselves? As a society, we yearn for information and can easily access it but how do you access information that is hidden away inside a person? In this essay I will explore the ways in which individuals in care settings are enabled to find their voice and express their thoughts. I will look at the carers approach to collecting and recording this information. Attachment theory is a term coined by John Bowlby. Bowlby supposed that early childhood attachment with a primary care giver is crucial for the child?s future survival. An attachment figure is a person that provides and teaches the child, ??the significance of an attachment-figure is that the baby uses her or him as a ?secure base? (K101, Unit 5, p28) Children form strong relationships if they have a stable, consistent period in which to attach. They watch behaviours and learn boundaries, communication skills and memories. Robyn Fivush describes this early forming as ?the internal working model?. This has been described as scripts or ?little ?stories? that children form in their minds, to explain how they think events tend to flow in their world? (K101, Unit 5, p31). ...read more.


The Children Act 1989, ?emphasises partnership in a working relationship with parents and carers? (K101, Unit 5, p21) Life Story work allows the child a choice in who they would like to be involved and what information they can disclose. Parents and carers are invited into Jordan?s past and they are supporting him in having a voice and being heard. This must be a very meaningful experience for a child who has had no real choice in their past experiences. Life story work also allows for the child to begin forming stronger internal working models by using photographs and encouraging new experiences. Suzanne?s work with Jordan demonstrates the advantages that a person can have when they are encouraged to communicate their experiences to others. Suzanne must consider the way in which she approaches her work with vulnerable people as she may be asking them to uncover painful memories. There are many ways in which Suzanne does this. When watching her, she is sat with Jordan on his level, uses eye contact and practices empathetic listening. By using these communication skills, Suzanne creates an equal partnership and a comfortable, sharing environment. If Suzanne did not approach the work sensitively, she may find the child putting up barriers if they felt undermined or patronised. ...read more.


Mitchell wanted to show ?the human side of the place? and also felt he could ?challenge the stereotypes of the institution? (K101, DVD, Unit 7, Video 7.1) Mitchell interviewed two former residents of the hospital, Margaret Scally and James Lappin. He asked both participants about their views on life at the hospital. When interviewing, Mitchell positions himself opposite the participants and has a relaxed, open posture that encourages eye contact. Mitchell is patient, waiting for answers and he listens empathetically to the participants when they speak. Mitchell uses open-ended questions to try to tease out their true feelings. This could have been rather liberating for the participants considering that they were told what to do, think, wear and eat whilst living at Lennox Castle. Mitchell is a catalyst for their memories, ensuring that their voices are heard. Mitchell has views on the ethical issues that can exist within oral history when working with people with a learning disability. Mitchell explains that it is important to gain consent and to make clear what the material will be used for as everybody can be vulnerable in this position. By respecting an individual?s privacy and confidentiality, Mitchell is demonstrating good care practice. Extracting and recording information that lies deep within a person requires sensitivity, tact and an equal partnership between those involved. In the past, care settings had an institutional perspective, relying on staff to control people and encourage batch living. ...read more.

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In this essay there is an examination of ways in which service user's views are heard. Lifestory work is included, and how interviews are used - perhaps the use of forums or growth of the Web in obtaining feedback could also be included? Good mention of law with regards to working in partnership. What do Local Authority charters/policies say about seeking feedback?

Marked by teacher Diane Apeah-Kubi 25/03/2013

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