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One of the K101 five principles of care practice is to support people in having a voice and being heard. Why is it important for a care worker to do this and how can they do so?

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Part A One of the K101 five principles of care practice is to support people in having a voice and being heard. Why is it important for a care worker to do this and how can they do so? Supporting people in having a voice and being heard is necessary in care work as, if the service user's voice goes unheard, it can restrict their identity. For service users who have the capacity to make decisions and communicate them it is especially important, otherwise, it can lead to feelings of discrimination and powerlessness. By encouraging and supporting individuals to express their preferences enables them to gain a real understanding of who they are and how they wish to be known and, this plays a vital role in their day to day life. It is equally important when decisions need to be made regarding their care and support. In this essay I will discuss the importance of the role of the care worker in supporting individuals to have a voice and be heard using the life story work of Suzanne McGladdery (OU, block 2, unit 5, p.21 resources) to demonstrate how this can be achieved. ...read more.


It also emerged that Jordan had been told a different story about his father so learning the real story felt right for him. The fostering service ensured that an up to date case record was maintained, detailing the nature and quality of care provided and this contributed to an understanding of his life event. Relevant information from case records is made available to all children and to anyone involved in their care (OU K101, Unit 2, standard 24, p.19). Suzanne and Jordan have been working on the life story book for more than a year and throughout, Suzanne has applied the 5 principles practice (OU K101, Unit 2, p.133). She has enabled him to maximise his potential by working with him on his book, listening to what Jordan has to say, including him in any decision about the content of the book, asking him questions such as where did he like staying. At the same time, she has put forward her own points of view so that he can consider other options and provided additional information to enable him to reach decisions. She ensured that, at all times, she maintained eye contact with him and used straight forward language so that he would understand what she was asking and saying to him. ...read more.


By working in this way with him, Jordan was more informed and his confidence grew and he expressed his enjoyment in working on the book. As an aside, life stories such as these would be of equal value to foster parents, such as Bill and Bev, because there is very little information given to them about their foster children's background. This would be an ideal way to provide them with an understanding as to why a child may be showing more challenging or worrying behaviour or why they behave in a particular way. I believe by using this example of Suzanne and Jordan I have demonstrated the importance of the role of the care worker in supporting individuals in having a voice and being heard. Suzanne has acted as a positive role model for Jordan and encouraged him throughout the compiling of the life story to find out about his past and include any information which he considered relevant. She has encouraged him to express his own feelings about what has happened to him and supported him to reach his own decisions regarding his father and where he would like to live. This has enabled him to find and embrace the positive aspects of his life which will assist him in his journey towards adulthood and greater independence and a better quality of life. ...read more.

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The first portion of this essay re life story work was good on the whole. A relevant example of it being used in practice is supplied and there is a description of the benefit to the service user. However I did not note a definition of life story work, nor a strong sense of how the service user benefited from it. I would have liked to have heard their voice more - apart from enjoying it, what else did they say about engaging in it?
Part 2 was very confusing to read as the grammar was poor and there was no punctuation. Perhaps these were notes?

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

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