Work Legally and Ethically
1. What is the purpose of discrimination legislation and how it is applied within the children’s services sector?
2.Describe what is meant by ‘dignity of risk’ and how this is applied within the children’s services sector
3.What is ‘duty of care’ and how does it impact on individual workers?
4.Describe how the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child applies to the children’s services industry.
5.Explain the relationship between human needs and human rights.
6.What are two benefits of being familiar with a worker’s legal rights and responsibilities?
7.List two specific types of legal issues that may be encountered as part of your work in children’s services.
8.Explain how to respond to a legal issue encountered when working in children’s services.
9.Provide an example and explain how a practitioner and client boundary may be breached.
10.Provide an example of an ethical issue that may be encountered while working in children’s services. Explain why it is an ethical issue.
11.Explain how codes of conduct are applied within children’s services and how this impacts on individual educators.
12.List the similarities and differences between the legal and ethical frameworks.
13.Describe what mandatory reporting is.
Case study 1
Aline, a new worker, notices Prue, an experienced educator, is very abrupt with the children, and when one particular child, Keith, continues misbehaving, she grabs him roughly by the arm and makes him sit next to her, holding his arm firmly down with hers so he cannot move. Later, Aline notices that Keith has a bruise on his arm where Prue had held him.
As Aline assists the children in the bathroom, she notices Prue standing in the middle of a table trying to hang up some artwork. Some of the children are also standing on chairs as she is doing this, and Keith falls off his chair and bites his lip as he lands on the ground. He begins to cry as blood starts to pour from his mouth. Prue, who is still standing on the table, says angrily, ‘I’ve told you to be careful standing on the chairs, now look what you have done to yourself!’
1. What is the name of the regulation within the NQF where Aline could find out more about incidents involving children, and what is the web address where you can find these regulations?
2. What legal responsibilities does Prue have regarding the children’s safety?
3. Where could Aline find information about the work role responsibilities she and Prue have?
4. If Aline is confused about the policies and procedures related to her role, who should she ask for clarification?
5. If a parent noticed Prue’s actions, what policy should they follow to voice their concern?
6. Would type of approval would Aline need to gain before giving Keith pain medication?
7. What should Aline do about Prue’s treatment of Keith?
8. What action may be followed if Aline and Prue fail to meet their work practice standards in regard to the handling of this incident?
9. Each parent or guardian has rights associated with the care their children receive from the service. What are these?
10. What documentation would need to be completed and submitted regarding the incident observed and why?
11. What legislative breaches has Prue demonstrated?
12. Explain why it is unethical conduct for Prue to hold Keith tightly and leave a bruise.
Case study 2 (questions 13–17)
Alysia, an educator, is asked by a parent how her child (Otto) behaved today while Otto is listening and other parents are in the room. During the day, Otto hit another child, leaving a bruise. This is not the first time it has happened, and Alysia needs to talk to Otto’s mum about some strategies to use.
Alysia takes Otto’s mum aside and quietly explains the situation, so no-one else can hear. They have a discussion and agree on some strategies to try.
Just as Alysia has resolved this situation, the mother of a family who lives in the same street as Alysia rings to ask if Alysia can bring their child home as she is running very late and there is no other way for the child to get home.
13. Access the ECA Code of Ethics and determine which parts of the code address the ethical issues associated in responding to Otto’s behaviour.
14. Is Alysia bound by ethical responsibilities to talk to Otto’s mother about his behaviour and work out strategies with her?
15. Where would you find service-specific information regarding ethical procedures and practices?
16. If Alysia spoke to another educator and complained rudely about the parents she spoke to today, explain how she is demonstrating attitudes and values that are judgmental.
17. What should Alysia do about the conflict of interest she faces about the request to transport a child to their home?
Case study 3 (questions 18–21)
Quincy is working with Heather. They are a good team and have much knowledge to share with one another. However, both are a little uncertain of behaviour guidance strategies. They have read the service policy relating to behaviour guidance and management but are still unclear of what path they should be taking with specific children.
18. What could Quincy and Heather do now they have recognised they need to gain additional knowledge in the area of behaviour guidance?
19. What could Quincy and Heather do to ensure they have up-to-date knowledge about key changes or legislative requirements regarding the use of behaviour guidance?
20. How could the service’s policy review processes assist Quincy and Heather?
21. Explain why consultation is the most appropriate stage of the policy review process for Quincy and Heather to participate in so they learn more about appropriate strategies for behaviour guidance.
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