Name: Principles of diversity, equality and inclusion in adult social care settings
Credit value 2
1.1 Explain what is meant by
Diversity is a concept that incorporates respect and acceptance by understanding that each individual is different and unique regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. Within the concept of diversity, we acknowledge that categories of difference are not always fixed but also can be fluid, we respect individual rights to self-identification, and we recognize that no one culture is intrinsically superior to another.
Although there is no single definition for the term of “equality”, we could define it as ways of ensuring that individuals or groups of individuals are not treated differently or less favourably, on the basis of their specific protected characteristic, including areas of race, gender, disability, religion or belief, sexual orientation and age.
Equality is about ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives and talents and believing that no one should have poorer life chances because of where, what or whom they were born, what they believe, or whether they have a disability. Also, in order to make legislation clearer, simpler, more effective and easier to understand, in 2010, The Equality Act brought together for the first time all the legal requirements for the private, public and voluntary sectors.
Miller and Katz (2002) defined inclusion as: “… a sense of belonging: feeling respected, valued for who you are; feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that you can do your best.”
Inclusion is a universal human right whose aim is to value all individuals, give equal access and opportunity to all and remove discrimination and other barriers to involvement.
Discrimination means treating a person unfairly because of who they are or because they possess certain characteristics. Also, there are several types of discrimination: direct, indirect, discriminations by association, discrimination by perception, harassment and victimisation.
For example, under the Equality Act 2010 Regarding Disability Discrimination, it is against the law to discriminate against disabled individuals or put them at an unfair disadvantage in educational settings, at work, when renting or buying property or when providing goods, services and other facilities. The only time when disability discrimination is considered legal is if it is possible to justify the action on health and safety grounds or because of unavoidable business reasons. Also, in the workplace, employers must make reasonable adjustments so that disabled workers have access to the all the facilities and benefits as workers who do not have any disability.
1.2Describe the potential effects of discrimination
The potential effects of discrimination can be analysed on various levels such as: an individual level, a community level, a national level and, in particular, a policy level. First of all, any type of discrimination has a negative effect on mental and physical health for any individual. When people face biases, potential effects may include: distress, low self-esteem, isolation, low hopes and expectations in life, tensions within the persons life, labelling, prejudices and stereotyping. Discriminated individuals may also be reluctant to seek for help and communicate with others about their particular situation, by reporting any abuse. It is important to understand that in a more general view, any discriminated individual can lose its potential to society and they are unable to develop their abilities and talents and so be able to make their full contribution to society.
1.3Explain the importance of inclusive practice in promoting equality and supporting diversity
We live in an increasingly diverse society and we need to be able to respond appropriately and sensitively to everyone who we interact with. The importance of inclusive practice in promoting equality and supporting diversity ensures a person’s right to access to equal opportunities and by doing so, the likelihood of discriminations is reduced, every individual difference is being respected and therefore he is an active participant within the community. Also, to make inclusive practice a standard within society, different key legislations and key of practice have been put in place in regard to equality, inclusion and discrimination.
2.1Describe key legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination in adult social care settings The key legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination in adult social care settings are the following:
Equal Pay Act 1970
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Race Relations Act 1976
Disability Discrimination Act 1995/2005
Special Education Needs and Disability Act 2001
Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) and (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003
Employment Equality (age) Regulations 2006
Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006
Equality Act 2010
All these important legislation acts and codes of practice in the adult social care sector have the purpose of maintaining a minimum of standards nationwide, while quality and control regulators oversee monitoring, inspecting and regulating the care sector.
Protecting the rights and promoting the interest of people and their carers or any staff involved, promoting independence of people while ensuring that there is no possible danger or risk of harming themselves, maintaining a high level of trust and confidentiality, and appropriate training and monitoring of staff is just a few examples of all the practices regulated by legislation.
2.2Explain the possible consequences of not actively complying with legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination in adult social care settings
By not complying with legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion and discrimination in the adult social care setting, there are several possible consequences that we can mention: disciplinary action, dismissal, legal action that can be taken into court and also closure of units that provide adult social care.
Describe how own beliefs, culture, values and preferences may affect working practice
The different dynamic of society can make it almost impossible for an individual to find a work environment where one’s beliefs, culture, values and preferences is the same as others. In that respect, it is very important to manage, understand, and not try to influence other people in a way that might change what they are and think. The workplace should be kept away from any personal views regarding any sensitive matters and respect and acceptance should always stand at the foundation of any working practice.
Describe ways to ensure that own interactions with individuals respect their beliefs, culture, values and preferences
The working environment will always provide situations where people with different beliefs, culture, values and preferences must work together (carers and service users as an example). To ensure a positive and a peaceful workplace we must make ourselves aware that everyone is equal despite any differences, and there is no such thing as right or wrong when it comes to the way people act or think based on their own cultural beliefs, etc. It is therefore extremely important to empathize with any individual and show respect regardless of the interaction environment.
Compare inclusive practice with practice which excludes an individual
Inclusive Practices Practices that Exclude Individuals
Actively and fully involve the individual Partially or not involving the individual
Respecting the individual Disrespectful interactions
Recognising the uniqueness of the individual Not recognising the individual beliefs, culture and preferences as important or equal
Valuing the individual Making assumptions and have prejudices about the individual
Ensure all needs and preferences are being taken into consideration Ignore or being superficial when it comes to different individuals
Describe how to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes change
When it comes to challenging discrimination in a way that promotes change there are several methods and strategies that can be used:
not tolerating any form of discrimination
taking immediate action when discrimination occurs
empowering individuals to challenge discrimination themselves when it occurs
recording and reporting fully all incidents of discrimination
providing information, a code of practice or policy that explains the discriminatory practices that must not occur
providing training to make everyone aware of ways to prevent and challenge discrimination
Explain how to raise awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion
Raising awareness of diversity, equality and inclusion should be a continuous practice within every type of institution and organisation and is mainly realised at the trainings, by proving information (leaflets, policies and procedures) but also at the group meetings and staff discussion whenever necessary.
Explain how to support others to promote diversity, equality and inclusion
To support others to promote diversity, equality and inclusion it is compulsory to make people aware of workplace policies, procedures, codes of practice and codes of conduit and the legislation in this domain. Moreover, it is important to help people have access to appropriate training and provide information and advice in situations where discrimination might have occurred.