Professional ethics and leadership KSS 10

Last updated: 15 February 2021

Know your role sign

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This page sets out the knowledge and skills listed under point 10 (professional ethics and leadership) in the Department for Health and Social Care’s knowledge and skills statement. Against this, we have mapped Community Care Inform Adults’ guides, research, learning tools and other resources to help social workers meet and evidence this part of the statement. The links to the resources are in blue; click to follow them to the page you’re interested in.

What the statement says Resources to help you
• Social workers should be able to explain their role to stakeholders, particularly health and community partners, and challenge partners constructively to effect multi-agency working. They should contribute to developing awareness of personalisation and outcome-based approaches to improving people’s lives.

• Social workers should be able to demonstrate the principles of social work through professional judgment, decision making and actions within a framework of professional accountability.

• They should be able to work collaboratively to manage effectively the sometimes competing interests of service users, their families and their carers ensuring that the needs of all parties are appropriately balanced, but that where children are involved, the children’s interests are always paramount.

• They should be able to acknowledge the inherent tensions where there is a dual role of care and control; be able to meet eligible needs within limited resources and manage the emotions and expectations of service users and carers.

• They should be able to identify potential deprivations of liberty and understand the process for assessing and authorising these in individuals’ best interests.

• They should feedback the views and experiences of clients and their colleagues to contribute to the continued improvement of services, policies and procedures within the organisation.

• They must be able to recognise and address poor practice and systemic failings which put people at risk, whether in their own organisation or the organisations and institutions with which they are working, making appropriate use of whistle-blowing procedures.

The continuing healthcare knowledge and practice hub details the process governing the continuing healthcare system in England and Wales, explains how to apply the primary health needs test for determining eligibility for continuing healthcare in practice, and outlines how social care practitioners can put across their side of the argument at each stage of the continuing healthcare assessment.

Using professional judgment and decision making in safeguarding covers what it means to be professional in the context of adult safeguarding, what to consider when managing risk in safeguarding situations, and different approaches to and influences on decision making and how these impact on practice.

Managing professional boundaries in social work deals with the boundaries that social care professionals need to observe in their practice, offers advice on managing boundaries, and how to deal with situations when boundaries have been crossed.

A strengths-based approach to difficult conversations contains ideas for coping with difficult conversations using strengths-based practice.

Webinar: difficult conversations under the Care Act helps staff act in a legally defensible manner, particularly when dealing with issues arising from resource constraints within local authorities.

Financial assessments under the Care Act 2014 details the purpose of a financial assessment, when one should and should not be completed, and what is taken into account or disregarded.

Flowchart: deprivation of liberty – a legal overview shows how key case law has defined the meaning and application of a deprivation of liberty.

When a restriction becomes a deprivation of liberty uses case scenarios to help you identify whether they constitute a deprivation of liberty.

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards framework: quick guide covers what constitutes a deprivation of liberty, and how the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards system works.

Case law in relation to making best interests decisions covers the importance of including the individual’s wishes and feelings when making a best interests decision, and how to use the best interests checklist and the balance-sheet approach to help you arrive at the right decision.

Anti-racist social work: podcast explains what anti-racist practice is, and how it differs from anti-oppressive practice, and how social workers, team managers and leaders can take action in the context of their own practice.

Links to resource maps for other parts of the KSS: