Critically discuss the multiple meanings of the 'working environment' for workers, managers and service users. How can managers work to improve care environments?

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Critically discuss the multiple meanings of the ‘working environment’ for workers, managers and service users. How can managers work to improve care environments?


In writing this assignment I will answer both aspects of the question. I will identify that one’s working environment can be another’s living environment and the problems that may arise as a result of this. I will also work towards finding ways in which to improve on those problem areas. I will make good use of the course materials but I will also draw upon my own experiences within the workplace.

Designing any building must be a large task but when that building has many, many different functions the task must become enormous. When a care environment is designed the designer must take into account so many issues, both from the perspective of those who may work there and those that may live there whilst also acknowledging visitors. During this assignment I can only hope to cover a small amount of these issues, those I do cover will be relevant to my workplace. (See Appendix One for a floor plan).

Main Discussion

In the children’s home where I work the environment has three main uses:

- It’s a living environment, for the young people (currently all teenagers, 2 girls and 2 boys, there are also two vacancies).

- It’s a working environment, for the team of support staff, education staff, the care team and the management team.

- it’s a visiting environment, for social workers, youth offending workers, the police, family, friends, maintenance workers and many, many more.

“This combination of activities is common to many places in which care occurs and has to be managed”. (Peace and Reynolds, 2003, p. 137).

The difficulties surrounding such a multipurpose facility are discussed in Book one (Peace and Reynolds, 2003, p. 137).  One of those difficulties is that “functions can also change momentarily as people and places interact, and the power that some people have - because of their role, status and values they impose - can influence the atmosphere.” (Peace and Reynolds, 2003, p. 137) When we are discussing a child/ adult relationship power often becomes an issue and none so than within my place of work (to be referred to as WH).  There are different levels of power at work there which include:

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Reward Power - There is a bonus available to the young person who keeps their room the tidiest, this is available at the end of each month. There are problems with this however as the manager is the only person who has power over this decision. She only checks on the rooms at the end of each month and makes a decision from that one inspection. This ignores any effort made during the rest of the month and the mind set of the young person at the time. It also raises ...

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