Service Types, Policies and Procedures to the Looked-after Child

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Types of service; Organisations; Address; What they do;
 

 

Voluntary

NSPCC

 

Care Provided;

 

Caring for Children

Jennymount Business Park/Jennymount Ind Est/North Derby St, Belfast BT15 3HN The NSPCC is a leading charity which fights to end abuse in the UK, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This organisation helps children who are victims of abuse to help overcome their experience and rebuild their lives. They aim to protect the children who are at risk of abuse in order to prevent it occurring once again.  The NSPCC work with families who are going through a difficult time, they offer support for new parents.
 

Cruse

Care Provided;

Counselling

Robinson Memorial Hospital, Ballymoney,

BT53 6HH

Cruse Bereavement Care is the leading national charity for bereaved people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.  They offer support and advice young people and adults when someone dies and help to enhance societies care of bereaved people, this is done by providing a counselling service. Cruse offers face-to-face, telephone, email and website support. Their services are provided by trained volunteers and is all confidential and free
 

Simon Community

 

Care Provided;

 

Helping the Homeless

25-27 Franklin Street,

Belfast,

County Antrim

BT28DS

Simon Community NI is Northern Ireland’s leading homeless charity. They work without judgement to support people who are experiencing, or are at risk of becoming homeless. Their vision is a world without homelessness. They are there to help those in need.  They continue their work thanks to the generosity of people who support our belief that homelessness should not exist in Northern Ireland. They provide a counselling service for the public to talk to and express how they are feeling.
 

 

Statutory

 

Sandelford

Care Provided;

School

4 Rugby Avenue
Coleraine
Co Londonderry
BT52 1JL
This is a special needs school which educates students with special educational needs which addresses their individual needs. They provide specialised teachers who are trained in dealing with children with special needs. They provide respite, morning and afternoon clubs for the children. Teachers must be specially trained in medicine as some children will require medication. They require adapted equipment and materials and accessible settings for the children.
Millbrook Adult Centre

 

Care Provided;

 

Day Care

49a Ballymena Road
Ballymoney
BT53 7EZ
They provide a range of services to persons with a learning disability from the age of 18 years onwards. These services include social work, nursing, psychology, psychiatry, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, podiatry and nutrition and dietetics. They also provide a day opportunities programme which offers a person centred day opportunities plan which provides opportunities in areas such as education, employment, leisure, volunteering and also community involvement. The Learning Disability Service also offer a range of supported living schemes run by the Trust and purchased through independent sector providers by the Trust. It also provides a range of respite services some bed based and some provided by family based host carers.
Castle Tower

Care Provided;

School

50 Larne Road Link,

Ballymena,

BT42 3AG

Everyone connected to Castle Tower School realises that it is a very special place. This is because of all of the individuals who contribute to the community which is Castle Tower. Pupils, parents, staff and Governors work together to ensure that our whole school community is growing in confidence, learning skills for life and challenging people’s perceptions of what it really means to have an inclusive society. As a school community they always strive to promote learning and develop respect and tolerance and prepare our young people for life after school.
 

 

Private

Clairville Residential Home

 

Care Provided;

 

Nursing Care

62 Bann Road, Rasharkin, Ballymena BT44 8SZ Clairville offers a highly professional care service for the elderly, with a personal touch. Their aim is to provide services that are professional and dignified with well trained, caring staff providing a quality service to residents.  Each resident has a tailored package of care designed to meet his/her specific care needs.
Jayne Stewart

Care Provided;

Child-minder

43 Margaret Avenue, Ballymoney, Antrim

BT536BY

Registered child-minders are self-employed carers who work from their own homes. They must be registered with their local Health and Social Care Trust if they look after children to whom they are not closely related for more than two hours in any day. Child-minders can care for up to six children under 12, including their own. Only three of these may be under five and usually only one under the age of one.
Bluebird

Care Provided;

Home Care and Support Service

Bluebird Care Coleraine
31 Long Commons
Coleraine Northern Ireland BT52 1LH
Bluebird Care is a national provider of homecare, also known as domiciliary care. They specialise in working with clients and their families that require social care in their own homes.  They offer a unique service of tailored care visits from 30 minutes to full live in support. Bluebird Care provides the highest quality of care, leading the field in client’s service.
Legislation Main Provisions
 

 

 

 

Child Protection Act 1999;

The Children Act highlights the protection and care of children. It makes the law simpler and easier to use. It covers two areas in relation to children and their families – private and public law. The private areas covered in the act involve parenthood matters and arrangements following parental separation. The public areas covered in the act involve services provided for children and their families, for example child protection, care and supervision. The act is about how we as a society believe children should be cared for. The five principles underpinning the act can be summarised as the 5P’s.

  • Paramount; the welfare of the child is paramount at all times and should be safeguarded and promoted at all times by those providing services. The paramount principle, in lie with the UN Declaration on Rights of the Child, is about promoting children’s health.
  • Paternal Responsibility; parents have a responsibility and are important in children’s lives. Local authorities should support them in carrying out their responsibilities. All mothers and married fathers automatically have parental responsibility. If the parents are divorced or separated regardless of whom the child lives with, both parents retain responsibility. Unmarried fathers do not have parental responsibility, however they may acquire if by a formal agreement with the mother or through court. The only time parental responsibility will be lost is during adoption.
  • Prevention; supporting and helping the family in situations which involve stress and which expose children to harm.
  • Partnership; with parents. Services must emphasise partnership by actively seeking participation, offering real choices and involving parents in decisions.
  • Protection; Children are entitled to be protected if they suffer ‘significant harm’.

Children with a disability have the same rights to service as all children.

Northern Ireland Children’s Order 1995; This is the principal act governing the care, upbringing and protection of children in Northern Ireland. It affects everyone who work and care for children, relating to parents, paid carers (child-minders) or volunteers. The Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995 changed the thinking and practice of the law in relation to children as it reformed, and brought together, most of the “public” and “private” law relating to children in a single coherent statutory framework along the lines of the Children Act 1989 in England and Wales. This order is designed to keep a child safe, well and protected, however if needed this law also helps the child to continue living with their family by providing the correct services.  For example local councils should ensure that health and education departments work alongside the housing associations in order to protect, provide and promote the welfare of the child.
United Nation Convention on the Rights of a Child; The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is a comprehensive, internationally binding agreement on the rights of children. This is separated into 54 articles regarding to social, economic, cultural or civil and political rights to children and young people.  All children under the age of 18 years old all have the rights regarding to the convection.  Under the treaty enforcement each child is entitled to over 40 rights, some are as follows;

  • The right to education, leisure, culture and the arts,
  • The right to life, survival and development,
  • The right to have their views respected and to have their best interest considered at all times.
Every Child Matters 2003; The Every Child Matters policy was set up in 2003. Through safeguarding organisations must work to ensure that they do all they can to keep children safe and that they do not put a child at risk of being harmed. This policy regards to every child from birth until they are 19 years old. This policy is based on the idea that each child should receive plenty of support throughout their life regardless what their circumstances are. There are five principles which fall under the policy which each child should have support with, these are;

  • To be safe
  • To be healthy
  • To make a positive contribution
  • To achieve economic wellbeing
  • To enjoy and achieve

This policy applies to anyone who works alongside children, from professionals such as teacher, social workers, nurses, police or social services.

Children’s Services          Co-Operation Act (Northern Ireland) 2015; The Children’s Services Co-operation Bill was introduced and requires NI departments to co-operate with each other to contribute to the achievement of specified outcomes relating to the well-being of children and young people. It creates a duty for all key agencies to cooperate in the planning, commissioning and delivery of children’s services. The Bill consists of five clauses;

The 6 specified outcomes listed in clause 1 are:

  • Being healthy,
  •  Enjoying learning and achieving,
  •  Living in safety and with stability,
  • Experiencing economic and environmental well-being,
  • Contributing positively to community and society,
  • Living in a society which respects their rights.
  • Clause 2 proposes a requirement to report on the progress of the departments towards achieving the specified outcomes every three years.
  • Clause 3 is an enabling power which will permit NI departments to establish pooled budgets and share resources to achieve the six outcomes outlined in clause 1.
  • Clause 4 amends the Children (NI) Order 1995. The Health and Social Care Board is required to review and publish a children and young people’s plan setting out how the relevant public bodies will co-operate with one another in planning, commissioning and delivering children’s services, and what actions will be taken on a shared basis.
  • Clause 5 defines children and young people in accordance with the meaning prescribed in the Commissioner for Children and Young People (Northern Ireland) Order 2003 to ensure that this legislation mirrors existing legislative definitions of children and young people.
The Children Act 1989; The Children Act 1989 has the duty of providing the local authorities and other agencies with the responsibility of safeguarding and maintaining the welfare of children and young people. This act also supports individuals with disabilities until the age of 18 were the fall under the NHS Community Care Ac 1990. Both legislations consider children’s services and their basic responsibilities with the local authorities. This legislation ensures that the welfare of a child is always the main priority and is put first regardless of the circumstances. Each health and social care professional that interacts with the child must put the child’s welfare first and the child must still be able to have access to appropriate healthcare and education. This act was recently updated in 2004.
The Childcare Act 2006;

 

The Childcare Act 2006 states the following:

  • Local authorities must improve outcomes for all children under 5, close the gaps between those with the poorest outcomes and the rest by integrating services and ensuring these services are accessible and proactive.
  • Local authorities should take the lead role in facilitating the childcare market to ensure the needs of working parents, in particular those with disabled children and those on low incomes.
  • People must be enabled to have access to the full range of information they may need as parents.
  • The Early Years Foundation Stage: [this was] introduced to support the delivery of quality integrated education and care for children from birth to 5.
  • A reformed, simplified, childcare and early year’s regulation framework should reduce bureaucracy and focus on raising quality.
Data Protection Act 1998; The Data Protection Act (DPA) was brought into law in 1998 with the intention of governing the way that organisations process and manage data on living identifiable individuals. This data is often referred to as “Personal data”.

Personal data is things like:

  • Children’s names, dates of birth, address, allergies and medical information.
  •  Parents’ names, addresses and bank details.

All staff members and parents have the right to access personal information which is being processed, stored, or relates directly to them. They also have the right to request changes to be made to personal information about them if the data you hold is not accurate or up to date.

In most circumstances, a childcare setting will need permission from the relevant individual if they wished to share personal data with an outside organisation. However, if a setting has a child protection concern, they are able to consult the relevant authorities without asking for the consent of the parents of that child.

All childcare settings should have a Data Protection Policy which outlines what measures they take to comply with the Data Protection Act. It should also describe what actions staff should take to take if they think there has been a breach, and how individuals can access information relating to them.

 

 

How policies and procedures help children, young people and their families whilst the child is being looked after.

When working with a child who is being looked after outside of their home it is important that you are aware of the policies and procedures which are in place to help protect the child. When a child is being looked after away from home they are often vulnerable and tend to be at a higher risk of being abused. This is why you must ensure that you understand the policies and procedures and follow the guidance closely when working with the child in order to protect the child and also yourself.

One of the main policies you should be aware of is The Data Protection Act 1998. This policy was created in order to prevent personal information about a service user from being told to unnecessary individuals and to keep personal information private. Often when working alongside families there tends to be a lot mixed emotions and usually they are vulnerable or sensitive. This makes it extremely important that any information is used correctly in order to help the family by following the appropriate procedures. This legislation ensures that all personal information received to an individual is handled in the correct manner and used when necessary and appropriately. Within this legislation there are eight principle states that personal information should be: fairly and lawfully processed; adequate; relevant and not excessive; processed for limited purposes; processed in accordance with a person’s rights; accurate; not transferred abroad without adequate protected; not kept longer than necessary; kept secure.  When you are working with children or young people who are being looked after away from home it is important to ensure you are aware of these principles regarding to personal information you receive and to ensure that the information is relevant and kept secure. As technology is constantly developing it is important you understand how The Data Protection Act 1998 fully works as when information is put online it is now easier to access the information through a database, meaning that if you fail to protect your clients information someone could easily access the information online and exploit or misuse the information. This could mean that the information may no longer be accurate and may be able to end up in the wrong hands. If this was to happen it is very severe as The Data Protection Act 1998 keeps very personal information about each service user: medical conditions; employment or credit history; home address and other personal information which should be kept private.

The Every Child Matters 2003 legislation is another policy which should be considered when working alongside children and young people. Often this policy would be put in to place when working with a child that has been neglected. This policy looks after the wellbeing of all children and young people from birth until the age of 19 years old and supporting them throughout these years. Within this legislation there are five key principles which apply to each child regardless of their background or circumstances. The five principles which each child should have support with are: to be healthy; to be safe; enjoy and achieve; make a positive contribution; experience economic wellbeing.  Each organisation which works alongside children and young people has the responsibility to protect each child from harm and to help them achieve their best. You need to ensure that your service user is getting the correct support they need, often you may need to work with the clients school and local authorities in order to ensure that everyone is giving them the appropriate support in order for the client to get the life the deserve. If you do not understand the Every Child Matters 2003 policy it may be harmful for the child when they return to their home as the appropriate support will not have been put in place in order to improve the living conditions for the child. As the legislations states that all children should be healthy and safe it is important that the child receives the appropriate health care needs when away from home. If the child is unable to attend their own doctors or dentist there must be an alternative arrangement in place, this is the same regarding the child’s education. It is important that the child still attends school as much as possible whilst you are working alongside them. This may mean the child will have to attend a different school, have a part time timetable or receive private tutoring. The child’s family should also be involved in this process as the child may return home one day. It is useful to meet with the parents and plan appropriate strategies in order to help improve the circumstances within the home allowing the child to have support regarding to all five principles.

Another legislation that you should be aware of when working with children or young people is the Children Act 1989. This policy was first put in place to ensure that local authorities were making the appropriate provisions in order to support children, young people and their families. The legislation states that the welfare of the child is paramount, meaning that regardless of the circumstances the child or young people must always be put first. Each organisation or agency which works alongside children and young people must prioritise them; this includes teaching assistances, social workers, doctors or youth club leaders. When working with a child who is living away from home they should be made aware that their welfare is the key responsibility and that you are there in order to help improve the situation not to make it worse, you do not want to be seen as a threat. Similar to the Every Child Matters policy it is important that each child still has access to medical care and education whilst living away from home, allowing them to continue to grow and develop. Failure to provide these facilities for the child will be seen as neglecting the child as the child’s welfare has not been put first. The Children Act 1989 was updated in 2004; this was mainly due to the sad death of Victoria Climbie. The Children Act 2004 supports the Every Child Matters policy as it considers all agencies regarding to children’s services.  The Children Act 2004 now supports the Every Child Matters policy regarding to health and social care services in order to achieve all principles set in place under the legislation to support each child and young person.

Working as a health and social care professional it is all about improving the quality of life and wellbeing of others, this is why it is important to be aware of all polices set in place. Regarding to looking after children you should be aware of the Human Rights Act 1998 and The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989. Both these legislation should always be considered. It is important to have a clear understanding of both legislations as this will allow you to help give a child the opportunities to have the life that the do not only deserve, but are entitled to have. This legislations also help support the whole family and help to give them the life they deserve too, as well as the child. If you do not fully understand these legislations this can then have a major impact on the wellbeing of the child or young person. These policies are put in place to help protect a child and the family that you are working alongside so being unaware of the appropriate guidance under the legislation can be crucial.  Not only are you risking the safety of the client if you do not properly understand the policies but you risk your career also.  The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 is separated into 54 articles all regarding to the rights of a child or young person, these policies relate to anyone under the age of 18 years old. Each child is entitled to over 40 rights: the right to relax and play (Article 31); the right to freedom of expression (Article 13); right to be safe from violence (Article 19); the right to education (Article 28). Each article is as important as each other as they are all set in place to protect the safety of a child, young person and their families.

(2017) The 8 Principles of the Data Protection Act 1998, Available at: http://www.datashred.co.uk/The-8-Principles-of-the-Data-Protection-Act-1998

Rachel Newcombe (2017) The ‘Every Child Matters’ Policy Explained, Available at: http://www.workingwithkids.co.uk/every-child-matters-policy-explained.html (Accessed: 1st December 2017).

(2017) Children Act 1989, Available at: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/preventing-abuse/child-protection-system/england/legislation-policy-guidance/

(2017) What is the UNCRC? Available at: https://www.unicef.org.uk/what-we-do/un-convention-child-rights/

Roles and responsibilities of two members from a childcare setting regarding to looking after children and young people;

There are many different health care professionals, who help to look after children and young people: child-minders; youth workers; health visitors; play workers; respite carer; however the two I have chosen to talk about is a foster carer and social worker.

A foster carer looks after children and young people on a daily basis, as part of their job they must ensure that each child or young person gets the correct care and support they need in order to keep them healthy and safe.  It is important that a foster carer is safe, loving, warm and a understanding substitute parent who must not get too attached to the child or young person. One of the main responsibilities for a foster carer is provide a safe environment for the child to grow and develop, a foster carer must be able to listen and talk to the child so they can help the child understand why they are no longer living with their birth parents and reassure the child that it is for their safety. It is important for the child and foster carer to have a positive relationship allowing them to be able to talk as the child may struggle to adapt and understand why they are no longer living with their parents, the child may find it difficult living in a new home. If the child or young person has experienced neglect or abuse whilst living with their birth parents this may have effects on their behaviour, they may be: aggressive, needing excessive attentions; withdraw themselves from social interactions. It is important that the foster carer is able to support and deal with the child or young person throughout this.  A foster carer needs to adapt how they care for a child as the child is always developing whilst living with them. This can be demonstrated as a child gets older their education is often changing needing more independence but still receiving the correct amount of support necessary.  It is important that a foster carer is able to:

  • Provide a safe and caring environment; this means that the foster carer should be able to provide a safe environment for the child or young person to live, free from neglect or abuse. The carer should educate the child or young person on abuse or neglect and what they should do if they experience it.  The foster carer should act as the child or young person’s advocate.
  • Work as part of a team; it is important as foster carer is able to work as a team as part of their job involves them working with other professionals as a multi-agency team all for the benefit of the child or young person. They must be able to follow the correct guidance, policies and procedures which are set in place and they must keep all information confidential as part of the data protection act. It is useful for the carer to take part in training courses and family meetings regarding the child, for example a parent teacher meeting at the child’s school.
  • Caring for the child or young person; this means the foster carer can provide the correct care by using the information they received and through care plans. The foster carer should help the child or young person to continue to develop by providing the correct health care. The child’s culture, religion and beliefs must be made aware to the foster carer and be respected. The carer should always continue to support the individual and their family.

A social worker is there to provide support to a child or young person. They help the child to over-come any issues they may have regarding their family circumstances. A social worker works as part of a multi-disciplinary team in order to provide the best care and support for the child or young person.  A social worker must be involved with not only the child or young person but also with their family. The social worker will also work alongside other multi-agency teams: schools, police or the local authorities. Social workers should provide support and advice to help keep families together, however when necessary the child or young person should be removed if it is thought the child is being or is at risk of being neglected or abused within the home. A social worker also deals with process of fostering and adoption, and provides support to a child or young person who is thought to be a risk to themselves. A social worker should be involved closely within the home of the child or young person; this allows the social worker to monitor the environment the child lives in along with their parents. It is important that a social worker is emotionally mature and mentally stable as the role can be stressful and demanding; they must also be able to show empathy and support to those who have experienced abuse. It is key to have a good relationship between the social worker and service user, this often allows the service user to confide and open up about their experience regarding their feelings and other information.  A social worker should be able to carry out duties to help any problems which may arise. If necessary the social worker should also provide counselling or a support group for the service user.  The social worker should be able to listen and advise the service user and their family whilst trying to plan a solution to solve the issue raised. They must be aware of the appropriate actions which should be taken if a child or young person’s health, safety and wellbeing are put at risk.  Once a social worker has managed to solve the issue and the child or young person is allowed to live with their parents again it is the social workers responsibility to follow up on the child or young person in order to ensure the situations has improved and has not returned to how it once was before. A social worker can be based in a variety of settings in order to ensure that each child or young person’s needs are met, they may include:

  • Schools
  • Residential Homes
  • Hospitals
  • Respite Care
  • Foster Care
  • Mental Health Clinics

For this assignment I have chosen four regulators for children and young people within Northern Ireland and evaluate their roles. I have chosen ACCESS NI, Nursing and Midwifery Council, RQIA and NISCC.

Regulatory bodies cover a range of professions; helping to protect, promote and to continue to maintain the health and safety of members of the public. This helps to ensure that high standards are always maintained by those practicing medicine, and ensures the public is protected by restrictions which are set in place for health professionals to follow. Working in a regulated profession you are able to show that you have the ability to fulfil your job role safely but effectively through the regulatory bodies.

The Access NIprovides criminal record checks in order to ensure that the applicant applying for a specific job is suited and the appropriate person for what the job entitles.  Access NI is “a criminal history disclosure service in Northern Ireland. By law some employers must check your criminal history before they recruit” – https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/about-criminal-record-checks When applying for a job where you will be working alongside vulnerable people it is necessary that an Access NI has be carried out before you are recruited.  This is important as it allows access to any criminal records that the individual may have, this is carried out by the disclosure service for England. This ensures that the individual who will be caring for a vulnerable person or child will not be abused. The disclosure service makes the decision on whether the individual is the appropriate person suited for the job role.  An Access NI will be carried out when someone applies for a specific job or if someone wants to volunteer within the community, or youth groups.

Access NI allows organisations within Northern Ireland to make appropriate informed decisions when recruiting new staff by ensuring they are able to work with young people or vulnerable adults and it prevents unsuitable individuals from working with the young people or vulnerable adults. It also allows employers to make more appropriate and safer decisions when employing new staff. It ensures a quality workforce, gives the public a since of confidence when using services and provides codes of conduct for professional behaviour. However Access NI’s do have their weaknesses, for example an Access NI doesn’t check for criminal records out of the UK so an employer would have to take other measures for information about people from outside the UK.  Another disadvantage to the Access NI is that they are a long process and checks are only done annually, so an individual could have gained a criminal conviction between the previous check and the next and the employer may not even know, also minor convictions do not show up on the checks either. Checks can also be costly depending on the type of check necessary.  Also those who have been employed prior to the scheme do not have to get registered, for example teaching staff that has been in post years.  Lastly with an aged certificate there is a risk that the individual’s criminal record may have changed so the employer would then have to pay to get it updated.

“Access NI is a branch in the Department of Justice.  Its role is to process applications from members of the public who require a criminal record check for employment purposes.  Access NI issues 3 types of checks.” https://www.justice-ni.gov.uk/articles/about-accessni

Basic; discloses spent convictions.

Standard; discloses spent and unspent convictions, cautions and informed warnings.

Enhanced; as standard, plus relevant police information and where appropriate a “barred list” check also.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority is sponsored by the department of health.  “The RQIA is an independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland, and encouraging improvements in the quality of those services.” https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/topics/safety-and-quality-standards/regulation-and-quality-improvement-authority The role of the RQIA is to monitor and inspect the quality of health and social services in Northern Ireland, they carry out checks in a variety of health and social care settings, for example; hospitals, nursery’s, schools, care homes or residential homes. The RQIA help to encourage any improvements which can be made in order to improve the quality of the services. The main role of the RQIA is to ensure that health and social care services in Northern Ireland are well managed, accessible and meet all standards required.

“The RQIA monitors the quality of services via a planned programme of inspections and reviews, with the aim of improving care, informing the population of their rights and influencing policy with regard to the National Health Service in Northern Ireland” http://www.dentalprotection.org/uk/help-advice/regulations/northern-ireland/the-rqia-regulations By having reviews on each service, it helps to ensure that the quality of care that each child or young person is receiving is at a high standard and meeting their required needs.  The regulation of services is based on the new minimum care standards to ensure that each service user knows what quality of service they are expected to receive and service providers have a benchmark which to measure the quality of care against.

The RQIA is set in place to improve care; by encouragement and promote improvements in safety and quality of services. They also inform the population; they publicise and report on the safety, quality and availability of health and social care. They help to safeguard rights; they act to protect the rights of all people using health and social care services. Lastly they help to influence policy and standards within health and social care.

The RQIA does however have its disadvantages for example; there is limited resources put into this regulation as it is public money being used. There is also a lack of understanding about these services for service users as they do not fully understand what it is they do even though it is set in place to benefit their needs requirements.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council is another regulation which sets standards and guidance for practice. Within the council it is necessary that they ensure that the standards and guidance they have set are being used in practice in each setting. They must ensure that the guidance is easily accessible to each individual working within the UK.

“We regulate nurses and midwives in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. We exist to protect the public. We set standards of education, training, conduct and performance so that nurses and midwives can deliver high quality healthcare throughout their careers.” https://www.nmc.org.uk/about-us/our-role All midwives practicing in the UK have to be registered within the NMC. The NMC work to make sure that nurses and midwives keep their skills and knowledge updated and work by their professional standards. Nurses and midwives who fail to meet their standards will be investigated. It necessary that all qualified nurses and midwives follow the standards and guidance set by the NMC and to ensure they are fit for practice so that patients can feel like they can trust the professionals with their health and wellbeing.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council professional regulation has it disadvantages, for example; the nursing regulator is seen as poorly managed, organised and weak. Also reviews have shown that nurses and midwives in the UK fail to carry out duties due to institutional weakness.  Poor management in the NHS has led to uncompleted cases, this is having an impact on the Nursing and Midwifery Council as they are not responding to complaints being made against the nurses, therefore putting patients safety at risk; this is a weakness.  There are currently 4,000 open cases and the NMC should be responding to each case within a 15month period however there are delays with the cases. This is another weakness as the patient’s voice is not being heard and therefore they are not being the main priority as they have been failed to be put first.

The Northern Ireland Social Care Council is about raising standards within the social care workforce, this is done by registering social care workers; setting standards for their conduct and practice and supporting their development.

“There are over 35,000 people working in social care across a range of care services in NI. This workforce includes social care workers, social care managers, social workers, probation officers, education welfare officers and social work students.”  https://niscc.info/about The NISCC sets standards and codes of conduct which must be followed by all who work within social care. The NISCC was set up in order to help promote high standards of care so all service users’ needs and requirements are met. It gives guidance for how to be a supportive care worker in order to help give the service user the best kind of care.

The NISCC benefits service users as it ensures they receive a high standard of care, it also benefits social care workers as it provides a guideline to work against and to measure conduct and practice. It raises the profile of social care as a regulated profession.

It is necessary that employees provide evidence that they do not have a criminal record, however if they are from a different country they may have a record which will not show in Northern Ireland, for example Access NI. Although the NISCC work to ensure all staffed are trained correctly they cannot always watch care workers as some work in the home of service users. This can be a disadvantage as the carer may ignore the procedures and policies which are set in place and therefore they would be working to a low standard which may not get reported.  The carer may even ignore the service users’ needs and not listen to what they are asking.

The NISCC is a Northern Ireland based regulation which can be a disadvantage. To register on the NISCC you have to pay a registration fee and there is also a lot of paperwork along with registering which is a disadvantage.

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