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Unit 10 Safeguarding in HSC Organisation Assignment
Diploma in Health and Social Care
Unit Number and Title
Unit 10 Safeguarding in HSC Organisation
Health and social care settings are increasingly reported to have abuse cases and it is extremely important to address this issue and provide support and protection to people at risk of harm or abuse. This unit 10 safeguarding in HSC organisation assignment depicts the risk factors that are associated with or lead to abuse of people by identifying vulnerable group of people and the harm that can be done to themselves or others. There are various laws, legislations and policies that work in the direction to protect people from getting abused and these would be discussed in the assignment. In the final section, the current working practices and strategies that are used for minimizing abuse cases in health and social care settings would be understood, evaluated and discussed.
Task 1 Article Review
1.1 Reasons For Particular People And Groups To Be At High Risk Of Getting Abuse:
Abuse can be explained as an act that involves harming or injuring another person intentionally. It is basically the misuse of one’s authority to take advantage of or harm others (Rebecca, 2007). There are certain individuals or group of people who are at increased risk of getting abused such as elderly adults, young children, and disabled people requiring special care or ethnically minor individuals. These people are termed as vulnerable people as they are usually in more danger or risk to be taken advantage of when compared to other individuals. The most significant and major reason identified for them to be vulnerable is their more dependency on other individuals for their day to day basic needs and that they usually seek support from others to lead a normal life. These people may get abused at any place, private like their homes or public like health and social care homes (Cleaver, et al, 1999). Adult abuse may be explained as an action of or lack of certain appropriate actions that may occur in a relationship having expectations and that cause harm or distress to the vulnerable person. A person or groups may be abused in multiple ways. Main types of abuse are as follows:
- Physical abuse: it involves physical violence, unjustified restraints, drug misuse, etc.
- Sexual abuse
- Psychological abuse: it involves emotional abuse, humiliation, insulting, verbal abuse, blaming, controlling, etc.
- Financial or material abuse: it involves fraud, theft, pressurizing in context of wills, property and other assets, misusing assets, etc.
- Neglect: ignoring person’s needs like not providing required care, withholding medicines, nutritious diet, etc.
- Discriminatory abuse: it involves abuse or harm to people based on their race, culture or ethnicity (Pimlott-Kubiak & Cortina, 2003).
As elderly adults, children or disabled people are mostly unable to take proper care of themselves owing to their age, illness or the disability and are unable to protect themselves against harm, abuse or exploitation, and thus, are the one who are readily abused. As in the given article, Lynette Nardone, a 64 years old housebound female was found to be robbed by her young caretaker who was stealing money from the victim’ purse. This incidence clearly depicts the helplessness of this vulnerable adult who suffered from financial abuse, neglect as well as psychological abuse. Since, Mrs. Nardone was housebound and was dependent over her care taker for support and care services, little she could do to save herself. She always used to stay cautious with her culture and behavior to Nadia as she was scared to not upset her owing to her dependency. Despite of being so cautious, she was abused and suffered from emotional, mental and material harm. Thus, it is evident that vulnerable individuals and groups are at high risk of harm and danger and need to be well protected (Johnson, 1991). Such circumstance can occur with any adult or other vulnerable people and they may be abused in any particular way. It is everybody’s responsibility to protect people from getting abused at public or private places. Any minor sign of harm or abuse must not be taken lightly and must be immediately reported to responsible authorities so as to investigate things properly and ensure safety of people in need.
1.2 Review Of Risk Factors Associated In The Abuse And Harm Cases
It is a person’s fundamental right to have a safe and secure environment where he can pursue his life freely without any stress. However, certain vulnerable individuals or groups are at high risk of getting abused or harmed in one r the other way. There are several risk factors that make a person more prone to get abused. For instance, in the given case scenario Mrs. Nardone is at risk of abuse and it is quite easy for her care worker to harm her in any possible way. Her care taker could neglect her, may not address her needs properly may psychologically abuse her as she did by taking money from her purse. Thus, the factors that make an adult more prone to get abused are as follows:
- Physical dependency: the first and most significant risk factor is the physically dependence of the person on others. Elderly adults are usually dependent on others for meeting their day to day requirements. They seek support from others for accomplishing basic chores that enhances their chances of getting harmed (Megan, 2009).
- Age: age is another major factor that increases the debility of people making them dependent over others and makes them require care and support or else they may harm themselves.
- Lack of mental capacity: since elderly adults do not have the same mental capacity as young people and usually their memory power, reading and writing abilities, ability to understand, etc weakens with their increasing age, they are very easily abused. They may be financially abused or may be given wrong medicines owing to their reduced ability to understand things (Lach & Pillemer, 2004)
- Low self esteem: this is another very important risk factor for adult abuse. Since they are dependent on others, need help and care and moreover, understand less things, their self esteem and self confidence reduces. They become very cautious with their behavior with others, limit their needs, speak less and become mentally so weak that can be abused easily.
- Previous history of abuse: in case, a person has been abused in past, he becomes even more vulnerable to get abused as he is in mentally compromised state and is too scared to fight back.
- Negative experiences of disclosing abuse: if a person receives negative response on disclosing his abuse incidences, then he becomes further scared and disappointed and, may even get more abused by the offender (Stranks, 2010).
- Lack of access to quality information or health services: when a person is deprived of healthcare services and lack an access to high quality information, he can be very easily abused in any possible way.
Thus, it is very essential to identify these above mentioned risk factors that make people more vulnerable to get abused and must be protected from the same. They need to be assured that it is their right to live in safe and secure environment and must immediately report if they are in danger (Boland, et al, 2003).
3.1 3.2 minimizing abuse through existing working practices and strategies and evaluating their effectiveness:
In order to control the increasing number of abuse cases in society, especially in health and care centers, several steps have been taken by government as well as other responsible agencies. There are various laws, acts and legislations, recommended code of conduct, etc that are designed and are working in a direction to protect people from getting harm. Health care professionals follow these guidelines and code of practice to ensure safety of their service users. For instance, acts like data protection act is religiously followed in care centers to protect personal information and data collected from patients while investigations. Other acts like sexual offence act, care act, etc. further assist in safeguarding vulnerable people from getting abused (Cooper, et al, 2008). As given in the case scenario 3 where a 15 years old teenager is at risk of sexual abuse by a co youth worker, the responsible youth worker would take immediate actions. He would report the case to the concerned authorities after ensuring that the teenager is speaking the truth. It can be confirmed by presence of physical signs or emotional signs like fear, victim becoming quite or withdrawn, etc. following that, it would also be seen if the offender youth worker is doing that with other teenagers and if found guilty , he would be punished accordingly. Further, the teenagers would be educated and made aware of their rights and powers and would be encouraged to report any such cases to the concerned authorities in future as soon as they come to know about it.
In the situation like case 4, where a 3 month pregnant female is scared to live with her ex husband and is currently having bruises on her body, the social worker would have to really take immediate actions. a case would be filed against the victim’s husband as the physical and mental state of victim makes it clearly evident that she is still being abused. Even the police may be contacted with and the victim would be provided with psychiatric and other help she needs. For the time being, the offender is proved guilty and is punished, the female would be kept in a safe and secure place like a care home (Phair & Heath, 2010). These current strategies and working practices are quite effective in safeguarding people and their rights in hospital settings. Once proved to be abused, services users would be well protected and the offender would be appropriately punished. However, as every coin has two sides, these current strategies also have few limitations. First and foremost, the word abuse itself is very vast making it really difficult to be proved. Many a times, abuse cases remain undisclosed due to history of negative response to reported cases and because victims are too frightened to speak about it. Thus, these policies and strategies need to be further strengthened to give more power to the victims and ensure their safety and protection.
3.3 Recommendations To Staff To Minimize Abuse:
In a health and social care settings, the service users come with the expectations that they would receive care and treatment services that would improve their current health conditions and if they are abused in either physical, emotional, financial resources or sexual way then it not only affect them physically but also cause them extreme mental harm. It is their right to receive high quality care services in a safe and secure environment where they can speak and act freely and meet their healthcare needs (Birchall & Hallett, 1995). Thus, it is the responsibility of every staff member of a care centre to ensure that people are well protected and living stress free life. For that, first and foremost, all the staff members need to be properly trained and educated about their duties and responsibilities towards service users. They must be trained to identify signs and symptoms of abuse and their responsibilities in case they find any such cases. If a patient has become unusually quiet, scared, have bruises over his skin, looks depressed, lost sudden weight, do not want to be left alone or any other doubtful symptoms, then they need to immediately report it to concerned authorities. Such signs must not be ignored in any case. Over that, they must talk to the person; assure him that he is safe to speak and discuss about any undesired behavior he is facing.
It is also necessary to make the life of people easier and more independent. They must be provided with mobility aids, and their physical and mental illness must be treated to maintain their independency and reduce dependence over others. Regular undisclosed inspections need to be carried out to ensure that staff are delivering quality services and doing their jobs with responsibility(Bancroft, 2002). A 24 hour hotline service may be started where vulnerable people or victims can directly call and lodge their complaint to get assistance and protection against abuse. A record of all the people found guilty of abusing any person in the care center must be maintained so as to prevent any such case in future. Moreover, local laws and policies need to be strengthened in the favor of victims so that proving an abuse case becomes easier and less traumatic for them. It is also essential to recruit and select trained and qualified individuals and even checking their previous job records (Reader & Gillespie, 2013). Finally, a special team of investigators need to be established who would exclusively deal with identification and investigations of abuse cases.
This report concludes that certain vulnerable individuals or groups like elderly adults, children, disabled people, etc are at high risk of getting abused or harmed either in physical, mental, financial or other possible ways. It is the duty and responsibility of health professionals to ensure safety and protection of their clients and service users in health and social care centers. There are several government and local policies, laws, legislations that are presently being followed to protect these people against abuse, however they need to be improved and modified to empower people and enhance their safety.
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