3.4 Evaluate procedures for working with professionals
In quality care settings; care professionals ensure that the daily program and experiences cater to the needs and interests of all service users, including those who have additional needs. The term ‘additional needs’ is used to identify a range of conditions that require and qualify for special support and it may include individuals who have behaviour, learning or speech difficulties, giftedness, physical disability or health issues such as allergies or chronic illness. Individuals with additional needs also frequently receive support or therapy from other professionals such as social workers, psychologists, occupational or speech ...view middle of the document...
Some professionals who work with individuals with additional needs may wish to work with the person in the care setting. In this situation it is essential that care professionals consider how they will effectively supervise the individual and any other service users who may engage with the visiting professional and the appropriateness of other individuals participating in the therapy sessions or activities. Care professionals need to consult with families to ensure they are happy for their child to participate in these experiences without disclosing confidential information about the individual who has additional needs.
Effective communication between the service and other professionals is integral to promoting the best possible outcomes for individuals. Family members often act as the intermediary between the service and the other professionals working with their child. While this can be a very effective way to share information between the service and the external agency, it is often helpful to also use some more direct communication strategies between the service and other professionals. These strategies may include:
• Telephone contact
• Using communication books or diaries
• Inviting the professional to visit the child at the service if they have not already done so
• Attending training or information sessions provided by the external professional
• Attending one off or regular meetings. Where possible these meetings should also include the child’s family.
When communicating with other professionals who are supporting a child with additional needs, child care professionals need to be aware of confidentiality issues relating not only to the child and their family, but also to other children, staff and families in the service. Care professionals must always seek permission from the child’s family before contacting or speaking with a third party about their child’s needs. When discussing a child’s needs or issues with other professionals, care professionals need to maintain a respectful and sensitive approach. It is important to remember that the child’s family will often be experiencing concern and anxiety about their child and while honest communication is important, this must be approached thoughtfully.
It is important to recognise that some external professionals may have limited understanding of care and what is accepted as quality care and education in these settings. As a result, care professionals may at times be asked by another professional to implement a strategy or activity that is either unrealistic or not appropriate for their care.
For example: they may be asked to use a behaviour management strategy such as ‘time out’ that conflicts with what is understood to be best care practice. In this situation, the service needs to clearly explain why it is not possible to implement the suggested strategy and to collaborate with the other professional to develop strategies...