Understanding Social Care Policy and Law for NVQ and SVQ Candidates and Assessors | laws and issues

When staff are just starting out on their NVQ and SVQ in Health and Social Care, or when new staff who have qualified from abroad start working in the UK they can be uncertain and confused by the different terms, such as policy, regulations, legislation, etc. NVQ and SVQ Assessors can also be uncertain of the differences.In many ways the starting point to understanding the differences is actually Government policy.The Government decides it wants certain things to happen in health or social care. Examples could include:** more older people to be cared for at home, rather than in residential care** more children, who are looked after by local authorities, to be cared for in foster care or adopted** more adults with learning disabilities or mental health problems to be assisted into employmentWhatever the intention the Government’s aim becomes a policy. Sometimes this policy is a Green Paper or a White Paper.The Government then has a choice as to how it pursues its policy. From the Government’s perspective it will rely on other organisations to actually apply the policy on a day to day basis. If the policy relates to health it is an NHS organisation. If the policy relates to social care it is likely to be local authorities that have to apply it or the local authority will have to make clear to organisations it contracts work to that various expectations need to be met.The Government can get local authorities or NHS organisations to apply the policy in one of several ways. These include:** by publishing the policy as ‘statutory guidance’. Local authorities have to follow statutory guidance issued by the Government. In England one example of this is the policy on protecting vulnerable adults titled “No Secrets”** by offering lots of money! The Government says it will give local authorities lots of new money to be spent on certain policy initiatives. One example of this is the Sure Start and Children’s Centres initiative. When it started the policy was driven by money** by introducing legislation that gives the local authority the power to do something or making it a duty to do something. A power means the local authority can do it if it wants to. A duty means the local authority must do it. An example of this is direct payments. The Government originally introduced direct payments as a power. But then the Government made it a duty so that local authorities must offer direct payments (since so few direct payments were offered when it was only a ‘power’)Acts of ParliamentThe Government may therefore decide to introduce legislation. This is the classic Act of Parliament.In recent years legislation has got increasingly detailed and specific. Even with this detail, legislation can be quite cumbersome. It is also quite an involved process to introduce it. Therefore the Act of Parliament usually gives the Secretary of State (in England) or the Scottish Minister the power to make regulations and/or a code of practice.Regulations (Also Known as Statutory Instruments)Regulations are also called Statutory Instruments. Regulations are laid before Parliament but are not debated. They are considered law although not quite as strong as the original Act.Regulations can be altered more quickly and are now extensively used (for example health and safety regulations).Statutory GuidanceIn addition the Secretary of State or Scottish Minister has the power to issue statutory guidance to local authorities. Local authorities are under a legal duty to follow this guidance. In other words the local authority social services or social work department must follow this ‘statutory guidance’.Code of PracticeThe Secretary of State (or Scottish Minister) could also issue a code of practice relating to an Act of Parliament. These codes do not have the full weight of law but they explain and clarify the law and offer guidance on good practice. They are often realistic and applied and can be very useful.Good Practice GuidanceThe Government department (either in England, Wales or Scotland) could also issue good practice guidance. This is not the same as statutory guidance. It is often meant to be read by social workers, first line managers (and others) since the guidance commonly gives case scenarios explaining how service users should benefit from any recent changes in the law.One complicating factor in understanding the present legal framework in social care and children’s services is that often one Act of Parliament does not fully replace a previous Act. Commonly an Act of Parliament amends or alters an existing Act. Keeping track of this can be very difficult.Therefore for social care staff (including staff working with children) who are NVQ or SVQ Assessors or are starting out on their Health and Social Care NVQ or SVQ some of the best resources are the law handbooks from Kirwin Maclean Associates.

Web Design and Network Marketing | web design and development

It is no secret that in network marketing having a captivating website is a must. Not only will potential members view the site but consumers searching for your products and services will as well. Everyday people are talking and tweeting about your business, and with this kind of exposure, you’ll want to optimize your site. An online web presence is crucial to any successful business.As we look around the net and discover the many sites, ranging from poor to excellent, you immediately develop a perception of their business which may influence whether you choose to go with this product or service versus another. Due to the exponential growth of online marketing, finding your site among the millions of sites out there is an issue all web designers need to face and develop a strategy to stand out from the rest. As the web is quickly shifting from the traditional transaction driven platform to one of relationship building, every site must be in tune with their target audience and meet their needs in their own unique way.We have all visited sites that are just obnoxious to look at. They scream links, flash, images and text throughout the site that makes it difficult to maneuver. It’s hard to find the check-out link to buy a product or finding the page that contains specific information you’re looking for. Companies are becoming more transparent online. If a consumer has a hard time getting things done on your site, chances are they will write a commentary on Twitter or Facebook and now thousands of people know about it. Creating a user-friendly site is crucial to entice viewers in getting the most out of what your company’s site has to offer and in turn it makes them spread the word of your business.As you develop a strategy for your site, you should inquire about a consultation with a professional and experienced wed designer. They will shed some light on how to optimize your site to get the maximum amount of exposure and retention. Once you begin marketing and promoting your site, be prepared to evaluate your sites performance. You’ll begin to notice how and why people do what they do on your site, which will give you valuable insight as to what your audience does when they arrive at your page. Good web design will point you in the right direction to acquire new customers every day and grow your business.


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