The fundamental obligation that anyone working in child care has is to keep children safe. The legal term duty of care refers to this obligation and has major implications for a setting and the operation of its services.
“Duty of Care” means providing care and support for individuals within the law and also within the policies, procedures and agreed ways of working of your employer. It is about avoiding abuse and injury to individuals, their friends and family and their property.
A negligent act could be unintentional but careless or intentional that results in abuse or injury. A negligent act is breaching the duty of care. If an individual has evidence that you have been negligent, you are likely to be disciplined. You could lose your job and you could have legal action taken against you.
(CIS Assessment Induction Workbook – Five)
Duty of care in my work role
As all children should be supported and enabled to live and grow in an environment which is free from prejudice and safe from abuse, my responsibilities under the duty of care is to do everything reasonable within the definition of my job role to make this happen.
As a provider of childcare, the level of duty of care is paramount. The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage states that providers are legally responsible for ensuring that their provision meets the learning and development requirements and complies with the welfare regulations of the EYFS. Section 1 details the statutory guidance in the legal context of the EYFS. Section 2 sets out the learning and development requirements that all early years providers must by law deliver, regardless of type, size or funding of the setting. Section 3 of the guidance sets out the detailed welfare requirements that all early years providers must meet in the following areas: •safeguarding and promoting children’s welfare
•suitable premises, environment and equipment
Section 4 provides additional information on:
•the other legal duties pertinent to providers – employment law, anti-discrimination legislation, health and safety legislation, data collection regulations and duty of care •competency in English – providers must be able to demonstrate that their staff have a sufficient grasp of English to ensure children’s wellbeing and to support children in developing their Communication, Language and Literacy skills in English •inspection and regulation of early years provision in all sectors Our setting provides care for children from the age of 2 onwards. This means that we have a higher level of duty of care as the younger the child, the more dependent they are on the care providers. This is because they are not able to make their own judgements on their safety and thus are considered as vulnerable members. Their, carers, parents and guardians are responsible for their safety and well-being.
How Duty of Care Contributes to the Safeguarding or Protection of Individuals Our duty of care requires us to raise any concerns we may have about any aspect of the setting to safeguard all individuals from harm. For example poor working conditions, inadequate equipment, poor practice by other staff, concerns about potential abuse cases and situations of neglect.
In essence, duty of care is the main focus in the Safeguarding Policy as the aim of this policy is to ensure a safe setting for both children and the employees. A safeguarding policy states that providers, their employees and volunteers have a duty to: • be clear what their role and responsibility is within the setting
• be able to respond appropriately to concerns or disclosures of abuse
• understand what behaviour is acceptable/unacceptable
• understand what abuse is
• minimise any potential risks to children
Task 2 a)
Potential conflicts or dilemmas that may arise between the duty of care and an individual’s rights...