1.1 – Explain models of practice that underpin equality, diversity and inclusion in own area of responsibility It is important to understand the positive values of equality and diversity in my role as all service users are vulnerable whether physically or mentally. Caring for others and engaging with them engaging in decisions in relation to their life, health and wellbeing exercises a certain amount of power over the vulnerable adult. This has the potential to be misused or abused. Staff members understanding of equality and diversity greatly influences their behaviour in their role. The staff members approach to both equality and diversity will have a direct impact on both increasing equality and removing discrimination or help reinforce inequality and discrimination. It is often argued that discrimination is often carried out unknowingly or due to ignorance, insensitivity or common held beliefs that are not challenged. No matter how justified, there is no place for discrimination in a care setting. It is the responsibility of the manager to promote ant-discrimination and raise staff awareness about equality, diversity ad inclusion.
Equality means to treat others with respect and as individuals. It is important not to confuse the meaning if equality as it does not mean to treat everyone the same. Every person is unique and is individual so in order to promote equality it is important to treat everyone fairly. Each person has their own needs, wishes and preferences so it is imperative that these are respected. A popular model of promoting equality is through the equal opportunities approach. It is helpful to have a good understanding of equality on order to understand that all individuals should have the same opportunities to achieve a good outcome. The equal opportunities approach is based on the idea that the starting point for all individuals should all be the same. This means that barriers to these opportunities, were possible, are removed and positive interventions are implemented.
An equal opportunities approach also means that all individuals are treated the same regardless of age, race, colour, sex, religion, disability and sexuality. For example, it would be discriminatory to produce a job advert for a female receptionist as gender of the applicant is irrelevant. If the person is suited to the job role and has the necessary qualifications, gender in the role is irrelevant. If a person whether male or female is qualified and capable of doing the job role then whether they are male or female does not make any difference. This approach encourages in individuals to reflect on potential and actual barriers to opportunities and propose and implement ways of overcoming these. The equal opportunities approach proves very successful in improving equality and inclusion. There are several anti-discriminatory legislations in place:
Sex Discrimination Act 1975
Equal Pay Act 1970
Race Relations Act 1976
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
Equality Act 2006
Some critics believe the equal opportunities approach suggest that social structures and behaviours are so deeply discriminatory that, even when opportunities are equalised, some individuals will still be unable to overcome barriers and realise their full potential.
Equality involves fairness and diversity involves valuing difference. Walker identified that the difference and diversity model is based on four key principles: Individuals function best when they feel valued
People feel more valued when they believe their individual and group differences are valued The ability to learn from those who are different is the key to becoming empowered When individuals are valued and respected they can work independently and as part of a team to build relationships There are two models that link with equality, diversity and inclusion, the first one is the social model of disability which views discrimination and prejudice as being embedded in today’s society, their attitude’s and their surrounding environment. The social model focuses on who the adult is as person not what their disability or diagnosis is, the focus is on how to improve and empower the individual’s life and lead a more independent life as possible. The second model is the medical model of disability which views adults has having an impairment or lacking in some way, this model focuses on impairments that the adult has and finding and acknowledging ways to correct them.
The client group at my current place of work are adults with mild learning disability and some of the residents have a dual diagnosis of mental health issues as well. Both the social and medical model has an impact on their daily life. The home’s ethos is to empower the residents and in able them to lead a normal life as possible. This is done by providing and engaging them in their own individualised care plans and asking their opinions on what they like how they like it etc. allowing them to make informed choices for them self and whether they have the capacity to make these decisions.
1.2 – Analyse the potential effects of barriers to equality and inclusion in own area of responsibility Inclusion, equality of opportunity and anti-discrimination are central principles in social care. All activity needs to be planned on the basis that some people may need additional support to overcome the barriers they face. Barriers are those things that prevent or make access to a service more difficult for certain groups and individuals. The barriers faced in your own workplace will be related to your own working environment and on the area of care you work in. These barriers could include one or more of the following:
· gender or gender identity
· disability – physical or sensory impairment
· ethnic origin
· sexual orientation
· communication, literacy and language
It is important that an organisation culture is developed which reflects and reinforces a commitment to valuing diversity. It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that all team members are aware what the values of the organisation are and understands that they are all expected to adopt these values. Clear expectations should be made available through training when onboarding all new team member so they are aware of what is expected of them prior to beginning their new role. It is important to raise awareness of equality and diversity. Managers should be perceived to set an example and enact the organisations values.
Our own personal beliefs and values are often deeply ingrained from our own personal upbringing and culture. It is only when these values and beliefs and values are challenged by new experiences that demonstrate that those beliefs may be flawed, that many people’s values are reflected on and, where appropriate changed. Evaluating beliefs and values are a good way to break down prejudice. Prejudice is often not an individual belief but is a more wide spread issue makes this a difficult problem to eliminate. In an organisation individuals should be made aware from the beginning that prejudice will not be tolerated and that team members are encouraged, supported and protected to speak out against it. Managers who are able to create a culture of discussion, tolerance and an open minded community are often proven as the most successful leaders. Prejudice can lead to unacceptable behaviour such as bullying, harassment and abuse of power which can infringe on the rights of others.
If this occurs in the workplace disciplinary action should be undertaken in order to comply with organisational values and beliefs. There are also structural barriers to equality and inclusion. For example, a workplace without accessible toilets for those in wheelchairs is discriminatory and against the law. Barriers of any kind can make an individual feel disrespected and not valued. All individuals have a right to be treated fairly regardless of their age, race, sex, culture, beliefs, religion or disability.
For example, if a vacancy for a promotion became available and the manager wanted an English person to fill the position. This would be discrimination on the basis of an individual’s race. By being English does not necessarily mean they will be better at the role. It is important to give all individuals a fair chance at the position and clearly nominate the best person for the role by judging them on their qualifications and suitability for the role and not because of their race, culture, age, sex or disability. 1.3 – Analyse the impact of legislation and policy initiatives on the promotion of equality, diversity and inclusion in own area of responsibility
Equality is a state of being equal in terms of value, quantity or quality. It is about uniformity. It is also about ensuring that people are treated fairly and given fair chances. Equality is not about treating everyone in exactly the same way, it is about recognising and valuing individual needs and seeking to meet them in different ways. Diversity means differences, varieties, and unlikeness. It is understanding and coping with peoples’ differences so that they can be effective using them to one’s advantage. Inclusion is seen as a universal human right. The aim of inclusion is to embrace all people irrespective of race, gender, disability, medical or other need. It is about giving equal access and opportunities and getting rid of discrimination and intolerance (removal of barriers). It affects all aspects of public life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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