This framework sets out some good practice guidelines about what adult social care employers and their staff need to know and do to work effectively with people’s families, friends and carers.
Who is the framework for and how can you use it?
It’s useful for adult social care managers or those in learning and development roles, such as human resources, trainers and learning providers, in any type of social care setting, including residential care, supported living, domiciliary care and/or voluntary organisations.
You can use the guidelines in the framework as a measure of good practice. For example, you can use the framework as a checklist to help you to review and assess how your service and staff work with families, friends and carers now, and identify what you can improve.
The framework can also give you an idea about what learning and development around ‘working with families’ might look like, to help you to design or commission training.
It might also be useful for adult social care staff, to show them some of the ways that they can work well with families, and people who need care and support and families, to help them to understand what they can expect from the services and staff that support them.
Please note that not all the points in the framework will be relevant for all settings. You can adapt and build on the framework, and tailor it to your service, the people you support and their families, friends and carers.
Note about terminology
For ease, we’ve used the terms ‘families’ and ‘family members’ throughout the framework. This includes reference to people’s partners and wider connections, including friends, distant relatives and carers, and shouldn’t be read as people who are only formally related by birth or marriage.
Note about legislation
The framework adopts a person-centred approach. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 states that we should assume that people have the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
If someone has the mental capacity to make a decision, when it needs to be made, their choice should take precedence over anyone else’s. This means that sometimes, in practice, you might need to help people to explain the decision that they’ve made to family members who disagree with it or do things that family members disagree with.
This framework explains some of the ways that you can manage these situations, to ensure that the individual is always at the heart of any decisions around working with families, friends and carers.
Where a person lacks the mental capacity to make a decision, you need to work in line with relevant legislation and guidance, including the Mental Capacity Act (2005) Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (currently under review) and the Human Rights Act.