Choosing with Care

The Selby & Mills Choosing with Care Programme is designed to help every care provider, who faces a common challenge: how to ensure that arrangements for protecting service users and staff from abuse are effective. This applies to all service users – children, adults and the elderly - and includes the staff and volunteers who care for them. At the heart of this challenge lie the fundamental issues of risk assessment and workforce development.

There are 3 components to the Programme which, used together, are designed to ensure the highest standards of Care are in place: -

‘Working With Care – A Guide To Protecting The Vulnerable From Abuse’

Written by Philip Darling, Colin Selby & Graham Mills

Forward by Paul Burstow MP

Based on extensive research, this practical guidebook provides:

  • A coherent framework setting out the seven critical areas any organisation needs to address in developing and sustaining a safe environment
  • Practical checklists for assessing risks and workforce development needs in each of the critical areas
  • Guidance on how to use the checklists to conduct a review and develop an action plan
  • An introduction to a separate facility, which is complementary to this Guide, for the provision of an on-line Risk Assessment Audit Survey
  • An illustrative case study, plus a detailed listing of organisations and other resources about the prevention of abuse.

Its uses are wide ranging, including:

  • Training and developing staff
  • Building an aware culture and shared understanding of any organisation’s approach to the issue of abuse and its management
  • Evaluating any organisation’s performance and progress towards abuse free service provision
  • Identifying and sharing best practice within and across organisations.

“Really exciting… very comprehensive and valuable.”

Sylvia Bridge, Hounslow Housing & Community Services.

Purchase a copy or download an extract by clicking here 

Risk Assessment Survey

Survey-Guided development has long been regarded as one of the most effective ways to raise awareness and standards of excellence in service in organisations of all kinds. The guidebook is complemented by a separate Survey questionnaire, which evaluates the risk awareness of staff and identifies the major areas for developmental attention in order to provide excellence in Care and protection of the vulnerable. Selby & Mills offer the Survey online at a low cost to all organisations in the Social Care, Health and Education sectors.

It provides a fully comprehensive 16 page report which highlights 163 issues which might threaten service excellence, based on the opinions of the people doing the work and provides the basis for planning and priority identification in service development. It is appropriate for staff at all levels and in all work activities in the Care sector.

The survey is available as a standard questionnaire, in a modularised version so the user may be selective about which of the seven critical areas in the provision of care and service development they assess, or in a version specifically tailored to their organisation.

“I’m glad we used this. The survey results and follow up review were really useful.”

Brian Murphy, Catholic Children’s Society.

Example Risk Assessment Survey Report - 163kb (PDF)

Fair Care Questionnaire

This psychometric questionnaire is currently undergoing final development. It is designed to screen applicants for employment in the Social Care, Health and Education sectors, in order to determine whether they will fulfill the requirements of the Carer job description, including whether they may be, or become, abusive in their relations with those in their care.

This important innovation will assist organisations by providing a detailed and objective report about the candidate, including sample questions to ask in the Interview. This employment sector is the most diverse and poorly qualified in the UK, as well as being one of the most populous. The assessment will be appropriate for all staff in residential or community based work and at all levels, so long as they have direct contact with service users.

We are seeking a few additional organisations to contribute to validation trials for this highly important addition to the sector’s employment activity. If you would like to participate or be kept informed about this development, please contact us.

Critical Areas

The seven critical areas in the provision of Care and service development are the basis for the ‘Choosing with Care’ Programme. These are described in detail in the guidebook ‘Working with Care’ and assessed by the ‘Risk Assessment Survey’.

Protecting the vulnerable from abuse – the seven critical areas

1. Awareness, Culture & Values

Refers to the ‘consciousness’ of an organisation as a whole about the issue of abuse and the extent to which it is well informed on the matter. It is the starting point for developing an appropriate cultural system and set of values and their consistency with current understanding of the effective management of abuse. It also includes the way in which the organisation demonstrates its commitment to its service users and the public.

2. Resources 

Resources refer not only to internal factors including employees, finance, processes, equipment, supplies, buildings but also external factors such as access to specialist help and advice. Together they combine to create the environment in which services are provided.

3. Policies & Procedures

Policies and procedures embrace the principles underlying an organisation’s approach to the issue of abuse and the course(s) of action to be followed. They also provide the basis for gathering information and monitoring and evaluating performance

4. Recruitment & Selection

Recruitment and selection are concerned with identifying, attracting, choosing and engaging suitable people to meet staffing requirements. Although inextricably linked, they can be regarded as separate activities. Thus, whereas recruitment is primarily concerned with ensuring an adequate supply of potential recruits, the focus of selection is on the assessment of a candidate’s capacity to fulfil job requirements and contribute to the organisation. This section is therefore broken down into the areas of recruitment, selection, interviewing, contracting and use of agencies.

Protecting the Vulnerable

5. Training & Development

The use of the term training and development here is used broadly to embrace any process, formal or informal, by which people acquire attitudes, knowledge and skills relevant to their performance at work. It includes education linked to the workplace, learning at both the individual and organisational level, training on and off the job, and development activities concerned with helping people realise their potential.

6. Management & Supervision

The particular emphasis here is on the management of people and the extent to which managers and supervisors are well informed on the issue of abuse, set clear expectations for the conduct of their staff, ensure that staff are trained to fulfil them, and regularly review performance as a basis for continuously developing the quality of service provision.

7. Action on Abuse.

Action on abuse extends from the adoption of a policy of zero tolerance to the definition of individual responsibilities, development of clear procedures for conduct, and arrangements for dealing with allegations and instances of abuse. In addition management needs to be aware of the risks, incidence and costs of its occurrence.

Selby & Mills Limited, Tregoning Mill, St Keverne, Helston, Cornwall TR12 6QE United Kingdom

Assessment does not have to be testing......

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