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Active participation is a way of working that supports an individual’s right to participate in the activities and relationships of everyday life as independently as possible. The individual is an active partner in their own care or support rather than being passive. The individual is the expert who knows best the way of life that matters to them and the worker listens and takes this into account at all times. For example, when it is a birthday or a special occasion, asking an individual if and how they would like to celebrate rather than making assumptions or telling others about the occasion without their permission. Taking control of their care and support helps an individual build their identity and self-esteem.

You should also keep equality and diversity in mind, giving every individual an equal opportunity of achieving their goals, valuing their diversity and finding solutions that work for them.

The ability to have control and care for oneself contributes to privacy and dignity. Skills for Care and Skills for Health have developed the Common Core Principles for Self Care. The purpose of the principles is to enable all those who work in health and social care to make personalised services a reality. They put people at the centre of the planning process, and recognise that they are best placed to understand their own needs and how to meet them.

When working in health or social care you need to be positive, open-minded and show respect for other people’s attitudes and beliefs, especially when they differ from your own.

Your job is to care for the physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of an individual and allow them, as far as possible, to live their life the way they choose or to get back to the best health possible to allow them to do this.

Prejudice and stereotyping have no place in health or social care and should always be challenged. Reflecting on your own attitudes and beliefs is crucial to making sure that you do not allow them to affect your quality of work.

There will be times when you face problems about how you can provide the best care and support and need to ask advice from others. It is important that you share any concerns about privacy or dignity with your manager and always follow your agreed ways of working.