Doing, Being and Becoming a Valued Care Worker: User and Family Carer Views

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Abstract

This paper presents and discusses data from a study of the views of people using social care services and of family carers about their care workers, what they do that is valued, what are valued characteristics, and how people become or are made ‘good’ care workers. It is set within the context of policy interest in England in values based recruitment as a means to address some of the problems in social care services arising from high levels of turnover and variable care quality. Such efforts to promote values-based recruitment have brought the question of values centre stage in social care in addition to their more established place in social work and other professions. The interviews with services users and carers (n = 60) were conducted face to face in four local authority areas in England. Findings are that service users and carers value staff’s presentation and performance; relationships with care workers; but hold different conceptualisations of training as adding to their workers’ capability and approach. Values appear to be viewed as innate to individuals and not fostered by training. These suggest some differences between values that are integral to professional identities and those that are deemed important in care work.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalEthics and Social Welfare
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2016

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