Social services employees now have a new set of robust guidelines to follow which better reflect the times we now live in.
Launched on Tuesday by Scottish minister for childcare and early years Mark McDonald, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) revised Codes of Practice for Social Service Workers and Employers sets out the standards everyone involved in the social services sector – from private firms to local authorities – must strive to meet, maintain and improve upon.
A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “At Falkirk Council we broadly support the new codes of practice announced by the SSSC as they will ensure our existing high standards are maintained and improved where necessary.
“The public can be reassured the high standards set out will mean that those who rely on care provision will receive the best possible support.”
The Codes were first introduced in 2003 and this new edition, developed following a wide ranging consultation, reflects current social service policy and practice.
Mr McDonald said: “Social service practice and delivery has changed considerably since the SSSC’s Codes were first introduced. Therefore the revised Codes will have an important role in setting the standards and behaviours for both employers and workers throughout the sector.”
In the new Codes of Practice a social services worker must treat each person as an individual, respect and, where appropriate, promote the views and wishes of people who use services and carers and support the rights of people who use services to control their lives and make informed choices about the services they use.
At all times they must respect and maintain the dignity and privacy of people who use services and work in a way that promotes diversity and respects different cultures and values.
They must also strive to promote the independence of people who use services and empower them to understand and exercise their rights.
Workers should follow risk assessment policies and procedures to assess whether the behaviour of people who use social services presents a risk of harm to themselves or others and, if this is the case, take necessary steps to reduce the risks.
The Code also makes it clear the onus is on social services workers to undertake relevant learning to maintain and improve their knowledge and skills and contribute to the learning and development of others.
Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive of the SSSC said: “The Codes of Practice set the core values, practice and behaviour that underpin the delivery of high quality services and care.
“They are for workers and for employers as the two go hand-in-hand and quality services rely on good practice by both. The Codes are a fundamental tool to protect the public and drive good practice and continuous improvement. They also link to the National Care Standards.”
Visit www.sssc.uk.com/codes to see the new Codes of Practice in full.