1: Understand diversity, equality and inclusion in own area of responsibility Diversity means difference. Diversity recognizes that although people have things in common with each other, they are also different and unique in many ways. Diversity is about recognizing and valuing those differences. It therefore consists of visible and non-visible factors, which include personal characteristics such as background, culture, personality and work-style in addition to the characteristics that are protected under discrimination legislation in terms of race, disability, gender, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age.
By recognizing and understanding our individual differences and embracing them, and moving beyond simple tolerance, we can create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued. Equality is about ‘creating a fairer society, where everyone can participate and has the opportunity to fulfil their potential’ (DoH, 2004). Equality means being equal in status, rights and opportunities no matter what their race disability, gender, religion, beliefs and cultural differences, sexual orientation and age.
By eliminating prejudice and discrimination, we can deliver services that are personal, fair and diverse and a society that is healthier and happier. Inclusion is a sense of belonging, feeling included, and feeling respected, valued for who you are, feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so than you can achieve your best. Inclusion ensures everyone has access to resources, rights, goods and services, and is able to participate to activities.
1.1 Explain models of practice that underpin equality, diversity and inclusion in own area of responsibility
There are 2 main models of practice underpinning equality diversity and inclusion: the “equal opportunities model” and the “difference and diversity
In my role of registered manager, I am responsible for ensuring that all individuals, their families, members of staff, care workers and all those I work in partnership with, are treated equally, with dignity and respect.
Within the adult home care setting there is a range of policies which formally sets out guidelines and procedures for ensuring equality. The equal opportunity policy takes into account the rights of all individuals and groups within the settings (“equal opportunities model”). In my managerial role, I promote equality and uphold individual’s equality of opportunity, individual rights and choice, their privacy, individuality, independence, dignity and respect. I also promote equality of care, and confidentiality.
In practice I support each individual wherever needed, inclusion, adapted to the individual needs. I support inclusion by ensuring that, whatever their background or situation, are able to participate fully in all aspects of the care being delivered. Inclusive practices ensure that everyone feels valued and has a sense of belonging. Inclusion in our settings is about providing the same opportunities and access to high quality education as well as valuing differences as something we can learn and be empowered from rather than threatened (“difference and diversity model”).
1.2 Analyse the potential effects of barriers to equality and inclusion in own area of responsibility There are many barriers to diversity and inclusion. The biggest ones are generally prejudice, culture and upbringing and religious beliefs.
Prejudice is “a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or personal experience” thus creating barriers to recognizing equality of rights for all. Cultural barriers can prevent, for example, consideration of spiritual, relational or dietary needs that do not conform with expected traditional expectations.
Religious belief, where different religious beliefs are not taken into account, and minorities are marginalized and not acknowledged. Other significant barriers could be structural, institutional and personal: Structural, where circumstances create or result in barriers – for example in access to a ‘good education’ adequate housing, sufficient income to meet basic needs. Institutional, where policies, processes, practices sustain an organizational or service culture that excludes certain people or groups.
Personal barriers, where staff can hold individual prejudices that influence their practice. These actions may be conscious, but they can often be unconscious or unwitting. Some vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals need more support to ensure their voice is heard and they are able to have power in the decision making process.
Within our setting, if potential barriers to equality and inclusion arise, they are flagged and staff has a good understanding of individual customers. Barriers are then removed or minimized – the care delivery is adapted, person centered and where required resources or equipment provided. In order to minimize the effects of these potential barriers, we always ensure that: • All care delivered is appropriate to the age and level of need.
• All staff are positively encouraged to deliver care to someone with complex needs in which they might not usually be engaged.
• All staff working with those using our service understands the policy on diversity and equality. • We provide all literature in easy to read and large print to accommodate our customer’s needs. • All practices and procedures in the setting are discussed and anything that is identified as being discriminatory towards any group or individual is amended.
• Management has a sound knowledge of diversity, equality and anti-discrimination issues.
• We assess and raise the level of awareness amongst the team about diversity and equality issues and practice.
The detrimental effect of barriers to diversity and inclusion can foster low morale and lack of motivation in our care workers and customers.
Having an awareness of these potential barriers and their effects allows us to address them timely and effectively.
1. EQUALITY ACT 2010
Equality Act 2010 is the law which bans unfair treatment and helps achieve equal opportunities in the workplace and in wider society. The act replaced previous antidiscrimination laws with a single act to make the law simpler and to remove inconsistencies. This makes the law easier for people to understand and comply with. The act also strengthened protection in some situations. The act covers nine protected characteristics, which cannot be used as a reason to treat people unfairly. Every person has one or more of the protected characteristics, so the act protects everyone against unfair treatment. The protected characteristics are:
• gender reassignment
• marriage and civil partnership
• pregnancy and maternity
• religion or belief
• sexual orientation
The Equality Act sets out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone, such as direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make a reasonable adjustment for a disabled person. The act prohibits unfair treatment in the workplace, when providing goods, facilities and services, when exercising public functions, in the disposal and management of premises, in education and by associations (such as private clubs).
The equality act will for instance impact on my role as manager with regards recruitment. You will need to ensure that my job specification does not discriminate against particular groups of applicants. When processing applications you should concentrate on an individual’s abilities to do the job, not their disabilities. Make adaptations to accommodate individual’s differences e.g. working hours, special equipment needs etc.
The impact legislation and policy has on the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion within my setting is ensuring policy and procedures are written and adhered to and carried out within the setting, that all staff has an awareness of legislation and policy surrounding equality, diversity and inclusion in practice.
Courtney from Study Moose
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