The aim of good quality care and support services must always be to promote a way of life for service users which permits them to enjoy, to the greatest possible extent, their rights as individual human beings. The following values underpin our work with service users:
Dignity: The right to dignity involves recognising the intrinsic value of people as individuals and the specific nature of each person’s particular needs.
Privacy: An individual’s right to privacy involves being free from intrusion or unwelcome attention.
Choice: Consists of the opportunity to select independently from a range of options. Independence means having opportunities to think, plan, act and take sensibly calculated risks without continual reference to others.
Security: In providing services to vulnerable adults and people with disabilities, there is a difficult balance to be struck between helping them to experience as much independence as possible and making sure that they are not exposed to unnecessary hazards. Taking care of the security of service users therefore means helping to provide an environment and support structure which offers sensible protection from danger and comfort and readily available assistance when required. This should not be interpreted as a demand for a totally safe or risk-free lifestyle; taking reasonable risks can be interesting, exciting and fun, as well as necessary.
Civil rights: Irrespective of disability, race, or religion, gender, age, sexuality, a person is entitled to live as full a life as possible within the community, making choices and participating in ordinary life activities.
Fulfilment: Everyone has the opportunity to realise their personal aspirations and abilities. It recognises and responds to levels of human satisfaction separate from the physical and material, but it is difficult to generalise about fulfilment since it deals with precisely those areas of lifestyle where individuals differ from each other.
Diversity: We also understand that different ethnic groups have different experiences and mental health challenges, which is why we have specialist projects, skills and training to support the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities. Britain’s social care services are used by people from a wide diversity of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. We make particular efforts to reach out to vulnerable people who might have been deterred from approaching organisations which appear not to relate to their special needs and aspirations. We can demonstrate that we welcome and celebrate the wide range of people in the community generally and among the users of services.