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Care StandardsSid standing looking smart and confident

Everyone deserves the best quality of care. The National Care Standards are there to protect you and to help you understand what level of care you are entitled to. Whether you are looking for a care service, or using one already, you can use the standards when you talk to staff or management. Or if things go wrong they can help you if you need to make a complaint.

There are 19 standards for care homes for children and young people. These are grouped under four main headings.

  • Standard One – Arriving in care

    Standard one tells you about the information pack or leaflet you’ll get when you arrive at the care home. This will have lots of information, like your rights and responsibilities, how you can be involved in decisions, family contact, visiting arrangements and how you will be protected from harm.

    Standard Two – First meetings

    Standard two tells you that you should be able visit the care home before you move and get to meet some of the staff and young people that you will be living with. It tells you what will be done to make you feel welcome at your care home and lets you know what you and your family can expect. It also tells you how you’ll be treated by staff while you’re staying there.

    Standard Three – Keeping in touch with people who are important to you

    Standard three is all about keeping in touch with family and friends. It tells you that staff will always treat you and your family with respect and do their best to support family contact if this is in your best interests. If for any reason you’re not having contact just now then staff will support you through this.

    Standard Four – Support arrangements

    Standard four is all about making you aware of your care plan and who should be involved in this to make sure you get best care possible. Your care plan covers lots of different parts of your life like family, health, education and religion so it might involve people from these areas of your life too.

    Standard Five – Your environment

    Standard Five is all about your care home and your own personal space. It lets you know that your care home should be homely, warm, safe, secure, well decorated and comfortable. It also lets you know that your views will be taken into consideration when it comes to your own personal space.

    Standard Six – Feeling safe and secure

    Standard Six is all about keeping you safe and secure. It tells you the policies and procedures staff need to know like child protection polices, risk assessments and what to do if there’s a fire. It also talks about things that might affect your safety like drugs, restraint and bullying and lets you know staff are aware of these things and know how to deal with them. This standard is really all about reassuring you that staff will know what they need to do to keep you safe.

    Standard Seven – Management and staffing arrangements

    Standard Seven tells you that the care you receive needs to be in line with the law and best practice guidelines. It talks about some of the things that need to be in place for staff and volunteers who are looking after you to make sure you’re safe – like what policies and procedures are in place, staff recruitment and training, supervision of staff, and the things that are in place for checking your care and the care home. Again it’s about reassuring you that lots of things are in place to keep you safe.

  • Standard Eight – Exercising your rights

    Standard Eight is all about helping you understand your rights and responsibilities. It tells you that staff can help you understand your rights and the choices you make and how these choices might affect other people. It also says that staff will explain what responsibilities you have depending on what age you are.

    Standard Nine – Making choices

    Standard Nine is all about encouraging you to make good choices and decisions in your life. This is done with the help of staff and you’ll get to make choices and decisions in things that are right for your age and understanding. This might be about making choices on how to spend your pocket money or furnishing and decorating your room.

    Standard Ten – Eating well

    Standard Ten is all about what you eat. It lets you know that mealtimes are important and what you’re eating should be good for you and you should get a good choice. If you have special requests about food because of your religion, have allergies or because you’re vegetarian then this would be part of your care plan and staff would support this. It tells you that you’re encouraged to learn about cooking and shopping for food.

    Standard Eleven – Keeping well – lifestyle

    Standard Eleven tells you how your health needs will be met while you’re in care. It tells you how you’ll be encouraged and supported to make appointments at health services like the doctors, dentist or optician for example. You’ll have an individual health record and assessment and you’ll be able to see this if you ask staff. This will have all your health needs in it, who you visit for check ups and what support you need to stay healthy while you’re in the care home.

    Standard Twelve – Keeping well – medication

    Standard Twelve is all about taking medication. If you need to take medication and you’re of the right age and responsibility you will be able to manage your own medication. But if the staff need to help out with this then they will treat you with dignity and respect. It tells you that medication needs to be stored so that it keeps everyone safe. Information about your medication will be kept in your health record.

    Standard Thirteen – Learning

    Standard Thirteen is all about your education. You’ll be encouraged and helped by care staff to get the best education possible and they’ll speak to education staff about this. It’s about making sure all the best materials to help your education and interests are there for you like, books, newspapers and a computer. You will be helped and encouraged to join clubs and go on school trips. Staff can also help you with your choices about further education.

    Standard Fourteen – Private life

    Standard Fourteen is about being allowed to keep things in your private life to yourself as long as it doesn’t make you unsafe. This might be choices about your religion, political views or sexual preference. You’re allowed to keep in touch with people in private too as long as there’s no danger to you or others. Staff are around to help you and support you with the choices you make in your life and are trained to deal with lots of different issues.

    Standard Fifteen – Daily life

    Standard Fifteen is about how you’ll be encouraged and supported to take part in hobbies, clubs and sport and leisure. It’s also tells you that staff will celebrate birthdays and achievements with you. Your friends will be welcome at the care home unless this makes you or others unsafe. It also lets you know about sanctions and tells you that these are fair and will be based on the policies of the care home.

    Standard Sixteen – Supporting communication

    Standard Sixteen is all about your communication needs. You might need help with communication because English is not your first language and you need an interpreter or you communicate using sign language. This standard lets you know that all the support and help will be there to help you communicate. You will also be encouraged to continue your first language.

  • Standard Seventeen

    Standard Seventeen is all about moving on from the care home. It tells you how you’ll get encouragement, help and guidance from staff about living more independently. They can help you learn all the skills you need to do this like, for example, budgeting, cooking, and cleaning. They can also help you get support from other staff that you’ll need in your life when you’re moving on like housing, benefits agency, or education. Once you’ve left the care home you should be welcomed back for visits and be able to get support if you need it.

  • Standard Eighteen

    Standard Eighteen tells you that you can give your opinion about your care home whether this is good or bad. It lets you know that you, staff or your family can get in touch with the Care Commission. It tells you that staff will take you seriously, that you are able to complain about something if you’re unhappy and that your complaint will be dealt with properly through their complaints procedure.

    Standard Nineteen

    Standard Nineteen is all about advocacy. This is about someone speaking out for you if you don’t feel able to do it yourself, maybe at a review or a panel. Or you could also get some support to put your views forward yourself. Who Cares? Scotland and Children’s Rights Officers will be invited to your care home and they can help you with this. Staff will also help if you wanted to speak to any other kind of advocacy agency or if you need a lawyer at any time.

  • Other standards for children and young people

    To order printed copies of the National Care Standards, call: 0845 370 0067.

    Or write to:

    Scottish Government Titles
    50 Cambuslang Road
    Cambuslang Investment Park
    Glasgow, G32 8NB


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