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Main Principles Underpinning Social Care Practice: Analytical Essay

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The main principles underpinning Social Care Practice include respect, dignity, and empowerment of clients so they can live a better life and achieve their full potential. The aim of Social care practice to promote social justice for vulnerable individuals so that they can take control of their own lives within their own social context and environment. Social Care practitioners take a holistic perspective toward problem-solving, and advocacy while working with individuals and their families.

(Iasw. ie, 2020) The following paper consists of a detailed insight into the important relevant factors of the role of the Social Care Practitioner. The main aspects of Social Care Practice will be described and it will outline the relevance of Supervision and the value and importance of Reflective Practice. Furthermore, areas of Self Care and Professional boundaries will be explored. Finally, the importance of Confidentially in the workplace will be discussed.


According to the social care institute for all excellence (Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), 2020) the use of supervision in an organization provides a positive impact on performance and encourages staff to do their very best. It provides transparency and a solid link between the service users and the workforce. It is a way to gauge the quality of service that is provided. (, 2020). In a supervision policy, a care service facility sets out its commitments to supervision and states its expectations and how this supervision will be delivered and evaluated. It also outlines training and development procedures and how recording is carried out (Beddoe, 2016). A supervision policy is the means by which an organization establishes its commitment to supervision, clarifies expectations regarding the standard of delivery, and decides upon how the process will be reviewed and evaluated. The policy will also need to identify how the organization will support the process with resources, including the training and development of supervisors (Morrison 2005).

Supervision in social care practice is a vital tool in the learning process for students and professionals alike throughout their careers of the practioner. It is a process where one member of staff with the capability is given the responsibility to work with another person to promote outcomes for service users. It involves contact and consultations between a supervisor and the practioner and occurs regularly in the work environment. It enables review, and monitoring gives support and guidance and enables the person to identify their weaknesses. Furthermore, it focuses on areas of self-care, and emotional and physical well beign, and generally improves the quality of life of the professional and the service user. In order to encourage and support service users and form respectful relationships, it is paramont that the workforce processes appropriate resources for example, training, strong decision-making skills, social and communication skills. Supervision involves the allocation of work and planning and providing teambuilding and leadership.

Knowledge of the Role

The role of the social care practitioner is to provide care to people of all ages who feel disadvantaged and marginalized within society. These include people who have physical and intellectual disabilities, people in residential care, the homeless, those with addiction dependency, older people, and children. While social care practitioners traditionally have worked with these groups they now work with a much broader group of clients of all ages, many who have special vurnerablieties, these may include victims of sexual abuse, refugees, and asylum seekers or people who are drug dependent. Social care practitioners play an important role promoting change by addressing and highlighting many issues in society, for example, inequality and discrimination. Through building professional relationships with service users the practioner support clients and their families so that they can overcome the many challenges in their lives.

In Ireland, the Social Care Practice will soon be a registered profession and will be regulated by Coru. This means that all social care practitioners must be registered and will be required to meet the professional standards set out in the Corus Registration Board's Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics for Social Care. The requirements are that the person must have at least an undergraduate degree education level, be fit to practice, and be Garda vetted (, 2020). In addition, these professionals are encouraged to work towards contiuing their professional development throughout their careers. This should include professional supervision, self-reflection, a willingness to advocate and learn new approches to work. Since they work directly in a person-to-person capacity or with in an interdisciplinary team with clients they are required to have a large skill base and knodkedge. They work as advocates for their clients and provide a range of education and support (Social Care Ireland, 2020). They require excellent Interpersonal and communication skills, empathy, self-awareness, and an ability to use critical reflection. The role of the social care practioner is to respect the dignity of service users as well as to have a good knowledge of social justice. They require many skills including planning, organizational, analysis and must the capilitality to working as individulals or as team members.

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Reflective practice

Health and social care practitioners must process survival social skills because they work extensively in a stressful enviroment managing many challenges that are presented to them within the workplace Using reflective practice is a way of engaging in the process of continuous learning. It involves paying attention to and examining therois, experiences and ones own personal and practical values. According to Richardson and Maltby (Richardson and Maltby, 1995) keeping a reflective journal and getting into the habit of writing regularly which helps create the skills which are required for good effective reflection. The benefits of keeping an reflective journal can be improved by reviewing it regularly in order to recall past issues and experiences Self-awareness and reflection is about being open-minded and having the ability to observe critically analysis while problem-solving (Rolfe,1998). states that it is very important to be able to tell the difference between knowing something happened and why it happened and suggested that instead of using intuition practioners should use reflection on past events to build up their knowledge. Reflective practice enables professionals to develop a sense of self-awareness and mindfulness of their own practices so that they can continue to improve their understanding so that best the best quality of care is given and best outcomes are continually achieved. It increases confidence and professionalism and provides an insight into the difference of theory and practice. One method of reflective practice that social care practice use is Gibbs' reflective cycle which uses of six steps. This process encourages the social care practioner to examine a particular situation or event by exploring, recollection and evaluating. From doing this the social care practioner will describe what happened and explore their thinking and emotions about how they felt at that time. They examine in great detail the positives and negativities of the event and attempt to make sense of what happened. It is important to reflect on these things so that one can find new ways of dealing with the experience in order to improve outcomes in the future (Contributor and Contributor, 2020) By reflecting in this way the practitioner will find that problem-solving becomes easier. This method of reflection brings the actions taken in the final stage back to the first stage and the process begins all over again (Moon, 2002).

Self Care

While the job of the social care practitioner is to look after their clients it is imperative that they devote time and attention to their own self-care so to create a greater awareness of the challenging issues that they face on a daily basis It is not unuasal that some encounter negitive experiences that cause stress and trauma ( 2020). Most professionals will face mental, physical, and emotional challenges and feel a sense of vulnerability at some stage in their careers.This may come about as a result of many factors, for example, fategue conflict, negative feedback, and feelings of overwhelment. All these things can lead to cause stress and compremise ones ability to function in a professional way. … It is essential then to take care of one’s own self-care before attempting to care for the needs of others. Looking after ones self-care will enable a practioner to manage and identify areas which may cause undue stress or emotional difficulties. Its important to know where ones vurnabilities lay in order to take approticate measures to limit the potential for essesive stress and burnout. Learning ways to overcome stress by adding some self care tips and activities into your daily routine can be very helful. It is essential that the professional pays attention to and becomes aware of these issues (Baker 2003). Self-care planning helps professionals manage and deal with the stresses of their every demanding job. By reflecting on a daily basis insights and connections with emotions can be made and this helps develop a better sense of self-awareness. As well as being central to ones growth reflection is necessary because it influences behavior, mindfulness and decision-making (Sarakay Smullens, 2015).

It is vital to develop a healthy attuiute towards work and be prepared to balance work schedules by taking self-care breaks eating a balanced diet, taking regular excerise, and getting enough sleep. These act as coping techniques and prepare the body to be more resillient when difficult situations occur. As their role is emotionaly intensive social care practitioners must not ignore signes of stress. One effective way to practice self care is to make time for regular reflection when one can spent time exploring emotions and experiences which will help identify negitive elements that need to be addressed. As a result, action plans can be set in place to deal with these issues in order to avoid any further undue stress. Supervision and peer support are also useful tools in self-caring. Its important to share experiences and self-care techniques so that other practioners can learn from others and feel they are not alone.

Professional Boundaries

Maintaining professional boundaries in social care is a crucial aspect of a good professional relationship with clients while upholding ethical standards of practice. They set a structure for the relationships between the social care practiceioner and their clients. These boundries are in place to protect the professional and service user and the organization involved and to ensure that all relationships are on a professional basis (, 2020). The social care practioer is ablidged to hold the needs of the service user at the centre of all decisions made about them and any infomation obtained should not be disclosed to any outside partys. In addition the worker should not disclose thei rown personal details to clients. It is important to have a professional relationship with the client and not be involved on a personal leval. It is the responsibility of the social care practioner to ensure they are in a fit state to practice and do their job. This also applies to their actions outside the workplace, for example, activity on social media. The limitations of capability must always be understood and athered to while working in the social care practice service. However, due to human error boundries will sometimes be crossed due to a number of issues (Hardy, 2020.) This may be caused by fatugue, stress, mistakes, or even client manipulation. It is important that the worker identifies this potential breach, by using ongoing risk assessment strategies and taking action by early intervention. Where boundaries are crossed, either intentionally or unintentionally it is crutial to recognize this so that they can the risk can be accessed and intervention is applied.. It is important to be clear of one’s professional position in any relationship with a client and that they understand this. In practice the professional holds some power over the client, this must not be exploited and the rules of boundaries must be adhered to at all times. It is important to be aware of the differences between personal and professional boundaries so that all interactions are conducted in a professional manner. It is difficult to re-establish and maintain boundaries onece they have been crossed because service users may become confused (Hardy 2017). Social care practitioners are expected to maintain professional boundaries in order to safeguard themselves, the service user and the service facility in which they are working. Professional boundaries are rules that govern ethical standards in the workplace This means that all relationships with the service user must be professional. Any decisions made must always hold the service users’ safety at its center and it is important to work within one’s scope of practice with an understanding of capacity and limitation (Cooper, 2012)


Confidentiality is a very important aspect of social care practioner work. All sensitive information learned from interactions with clients must be treated with the uppermost respect and discretion. Confidentiality means that information gathered within a relationship with a service user should not go any further than that relationship and the SCP is obliged to keep that information private. This encourages the client to come forward and confide in the person who is working with them in the knowledge that concerns including those of a sensitive nature are kept private Through sharing information the service user has an opportunity to have problems addressed. .However, there are some occasions, for example, when the information contains details of maltreatment, child or elderly abuse or other instances, then it is the legal duty of the SCP as a mandated person to break that confidentially and report the issue.

Informed consent is where the SCP discusses face to face with the client the expectations of their professional relationship. For example, it might outline what the client can expect from the professional and visa vera, this should be done in terms that is easy to understand. It also involves confidentially and the SCP should inform the client what information they will keep private and when they may break that confidenially. They should also highlight and explain clearly the fact that should they suspect maltreatment or abuse they are legally ablidged to report it. It is vital that the client understands this, if they are impaired its always best to follow up to ensure that it is indeed understood. It is also important to remember that the client has the right to decide on what information they share.


This paper has discussed the main elements involved in the role of a social care practicioner. It discused the main principles underpinning Social Care Practice and its role in providing respect, dignity and empowerment to the clients who use the service. It presented a clear picture of the aim of social care practice and how it attempts to address the relationship between the service and the practitioner.(, 2020). The essay provided an insight into the relevance and benefit of supervision, professional boundries, and reflective practice. Finally, it discused the importance of and informed concent in the workplace.

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Main Principles Underpinning Social Care Practice: Analytical Essay. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 8, 2023, from
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