The Standards are underpinned by five principles; dignity and respect, compassion, be included, responsive care and support and wellbeing.
The Standards are based on five headline outcomes:
• I experience high quality care and support that is right for me.
• I am fully involved in all decisions about my care and support.
• I have confidence in the people who support and care for me.
• I have confidence in the organisation providing my care and support.
• I experience a high quality environment if the organisation provides the premises.
All services and support organisations, whether registered or not, are expected to use the Standards as a guideline for how to achieve high quality care from April 2018.
Rather than listing technical inputs expected of providers, the new Health and Social Care Standards try to describe what a high quality experience looks like for someone experiencing any type of care and support.
Creativity is identified as a key ingredient of high quality experiences for all adults and children. Creativity is described in the glossary of the new Standards as "includes artistic activities, such as arts, crafts, music, drama and dance."
Our Creative Journey is aimed at affirming the above statement from the new Standards in practice. It's easy to forget how children's early experiences impact on later outcomes, such as how experiencing music and song leads to improved language and literacy.
For children the following Standards then set down further expectations for creative expression:
"As a child, I have fun as I develop my skills in understanding, thinking, investigation and problem solving, including through imaginative play and storytelling." (Statement 1.30)
"As a child, my social and physical skills, confidence, self-esteem and creativity are developed through a balance of organised and freely-chosen extended play, including open-ended and natural materials." (Statement 1.31)
"As a child, I play outdoors every day and regularly explore a natural environment." (Statement 1.32)
"As a child, I can direct my own play and activities in the way that I choose, and freely access a wide range of experiences and resources available for my age and stage, which stimulate my natural curiousity, learning and creativity." (Statement 2.27)
The greatest impact of creative play can be in deprived areas, which fits in with the Scottish Government's overall drive to reduce inequality and the impact of deprivation. Overcoming inequality is also embedded in the new Standards:
"The organisations that support and care for me help tackle health and social inequalities." (Standard 4.2)
Meaningful and high quality experiences in expressive arts can also help looked after children and young people develop resilience in challenging situations and improve negotiating skills. They can support healing for those who have been traumatised, boost self-esteem and provide a chance for fun. Statement 1.29 from the Standards is relevant to this aspect of creative expression: "I am support to be emotionally resilient, have a strong sense of my own identity and wellbeing, and address any experiences of trauma and neglect."
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