1.1- Diversity means the difference between people and the values and beliefs that they have, there is lots of ways in which people differ, for example, ability, beliefs, race, religion, gender, culture, the differences in people are what makes an individual and as a care worker it is important to recognise these and respect their individuality to ensure that they feel valued and included, if I treated everyone the same or made assumptions or decisions for my service user’s or stereotyped people this would cause them to feel unvalued which would dent their self-esteem and more seriously would mean I was working in a discriminatory way and the service user would not have their needs met. It is very important to value diversity in individuals and work in ways that ensure that their needs, wishes and preferences are taken into account all of us as individuals have this right.
By stereotyping individuals, this is the main cause of discrimination in which we, at times have a lack of understanding of differing cultures, beliefs, for example ‘all black people are drug dealers,’ ‘Jewish people are mean with money,’ ‘the Irish are thick,’ labelling and stereotyping is a form of being prejudice and media and television programmes can have a big influence on us all and the way we look at people and instantly make judgements, we are if completely honest guilty of doing this, but as a professional care-worker it is very important to challenge this behaviour and to value everyone’s choice, beliefs, cultures, not make assumptions because of the way they look, dress or their personal beliefs and cultures, it is important to respect their diversity and work in ways that respect their decisions and meet their needs even if they differ entirely from my own, spending time with individuals finding out how and where and when they want my support, how they would like the support given, documenting their wishes is very important as this will ensure the individual feels valued, included, a care plan which is person-centred will give the best support to the individual and outcomes will be met.
Equality is about everyone being equal and ensuring that their diversity is valued and individuals are given the same services and support wherever they are from, to promote equality it is important to find the correct level of care to ensure the individual can reach his/her goals in life and encourage them to reach them even if there is perceived disadvantages for them, individuals deserve the correct level of support to maintain and achieve their goals and can participate the same as someone who needs none or less support, by lifting the barriers this will enable the individual to feel valued and build self esteem and independence. Governments definition of social class allows them to determine what planning services are needed around the country, but there are many ways that social class is perceived, this could be lower class, middle class and upper class, how we determine this is by example: I would say individuals who have very well paid professional careers and live in affluent area’s of the country with top of the range cars, who send their children to private schools are the upper class of our society, but individuals from lower class through education can move around the class system.
These systems of social classes can cause at times inequality, individuals from the lower class can suffer from ill health and poverty which create many more social and economical factors for example: poor nutrition, mental health problems, infant and childhood deaths, heart disease, diabetes. Gender, disability and age can also be causes of inequality, this can be made worse if poverty is a factor particularly in the elderly who live on low income, over 30% of the elderly who are entitled to pension credits do not claim it and this in turn means that they live in severe deprivation, poverty and socio-economic deprivation are the leading causes of inequality in the united kingdom and is made worse by attitudes for example, racism, sexism and discrimination against people with disabilities. inclusion is about equal opportunities for individuals, whatever their age, gender, ethnicity, attainment and background, feeling respected, feeling a sense of belonging, being valued for who you are.
1.2 The possible effects of discrimination can be very serious and can affect an individuals self-esteem and can reduce their ability to maintain their self belief and identity, being discriminatory because of their, for example sex, age, disability, colour of their skin, religion, can and will have a detrimental affect on a persons well-being and causing the individual to feel, angry, humiliated, depressed, low self esteem, worthless and unvalued.
To eliminate the above as a care worker I should always strive to work in a anti-discriminatory way and respect a person and their choices whatever they are, respect their diversity as an individual, some examples of this would be to work to a person centred approach to ensure that the individuals needs, wishes and preferences are met, this could be cultural meal choices, ensuring language barriers are supported, not ignoring a person because of their differences, treating everyone equally, challenge discriminatory behaviour in my workplace, respect diversity of individuals and not push my own views on them.
1.3 Inclusive practice promotes equality and supports diversity of the individual, if we as care workers ensure that the individuals needs are met and ensuring that no barriers are there that would mean that they could not feel included and made to feel worthless. By understanding the individuals needs and what needs to be implemented for them to fully participate is important, this could be ‘a fully working hearing aid, good lighting, wheelchair, flash cards. Also being aware of any changes in the individuals overall health and recognising that at times extra support may be needed so they can still be included and fulfil an active life, mentally, physically and emotionally and ensure these are implemented.
Question 2 2.1 2.2
2.1There are many legislations and codes of practice relating to equality, diversity and discrimination in my work role. It is my responsibility to adhere to these legislations and follow also my organisational policies and procedures relating to the above, my responsibility is about protecting and improving and not infringing rights of others, by dis-regarding a persons choice, entitlement is an infringement of their rights, so it is vitally important as a care worker to have the correct balance of rights and responsibilities. There are rights that do not have the force of law, these are rights under national standards, codes of practice, guidelines and policies, they are enforceable within social care and will help to improve the quality of services that individuals receive.
National Minimum Standards
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, have their own individual body and they are responsible for inspecting social care facilities to ensure
that they are complying with the National Minimum Standards, they are: The Quality Care Commission in England, Care Commission in Scotland, The Care and Social Service Inspectorate in Wales and The Regulations Quality Improvement Authority in Northern Ireland, all these bodies will have there minimum standards to inspect the quality of care, there will be different standards for different types of services for example, one set of standards would be for a care home for the older adult and different set for young people or a children’s home, also these organisations would have policies in place to outline what services and support that the individuals using these can expect to receive. All these regulatory bodies in the UK have codes of practice for both employers in social care and also their employees, it is my responsibility to promote and protect the individuals rights and their interests and maintain them so they feel valued, respected, included, they will feel have control over their own lives, respect for equal opportunities, diversity and always maintain dignity and privacy.
It is also my responsibility to promote their independence and also to protect them from danger or harm, also recognise that at times they have a right to take risks, so ensure risk assessments are in place to try minimise this and all the people involved in the care of the individual that need to know are aware. Maintain trust and confidence of the individual and others, building trust and never exploiting an individual, showing any discrimination towards them, keep a professional relationship at all times, not take any unnecessary risks, keeping confidentiality, not accepting gifts, effective communication skills, declaring conflicts of interests, challenge discriminatory behaviours, being accountable for my own development, attending training courses, pin pointing where additional training will be needed, report any unsafe practice, follow regulations. Maintain rights of individuals and empower them to use them.
There are also responsibilities of the employer to adhere to which are employers must ensure that individuals who are in their social care setting know their roles and responsibilities, employers must have written policies and procedures so that employees reach and meet the codes of practice for social care workers this will include area’s on risk assessment, confidentiality, keep records, equal opportunities, acceptance of gifts and substance abuse, also the employer will and should provide supervision, effective management systems, systems to report inadequate resources, training and support to enable the employees to meet the standards of the code of practice criteria’s. Employers must provide training for employees, ongoing supervision and development meetings, respond to employees who are finding any difficulties and provide support, support employees to acetane eligibility criteria’s.
Employers also have a responsibility to ensure that they put in place written policies and procedures to deal with discriminatory, dangerous or exploitive behaviours and practice, policies and procedures also must be written for the following equal opportunities, minimising risks of violent and managing violent incidents, bullying, harassment and discrimination, support networks for employees who experience any violence, trauma, bullying and harassment, and also support in connection with health needs. 2.1 Employers have a responsibility to promote the codes of practice for social care workers, service user’s and primary carers and co-operate with the councils proceedings for example, informing workers of the code, co-operate with any investigations, use the code to assist in any decisions that need to be made, inform social care user’s and also to report any misconduct to the council.
By adhering as an employee to the codes of practice this will ensure that care will be delivered in the highest possible quality and will ensure the service user is valued, their rights have not be infringed in any way, it will promote their independence, the care they are given is person-centred, dignity and respect is promoted, the care they are given is confidential, diversity is promoted and they have the correct level of support that will maintain that they have control over their own lives.
It is also important to understand the balance between rights and responsibilities as one service user who is exercising their rights may on some occasions restrict the rights of others, for example, a care home who does not take into account cultural diets or free speech of one individual who is communicating discriminatory behaviours which will infringe on another individuals rights to be respected and valued it is racist and discriminatory and un-acceptable and is not justified on any level, individuals have the right to be different and it is my responsibility to respect their diversity, individuals have a right to choice over how they live their life, diet and routines, dignity and respect should always be maintained, people have a right to feel safe and secure and not feel threatened in any way, individuals have a right to take risks, choice in order to maintain the individuals identity and its my responsibility not to impose unnecessary risk or put the individual at any risk danger or harm.
Human Rights Act came into force on 2/10/2000, this act applies in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, individuals are entitled to seek help from the courts if they believe that their human rights have been infringed, it is my responsibility to work within the provisions of the Human Rights Act which for example guarantee the rights to: life, freedom from slavery, liberty and security of the individual, freedom from torture, a fair and public trial, respect for private and family life, home and correspondence, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, marry and found a family, access to education, free elections, not to be subjected to the death penalty. Legislation about equality and rights are:
All these Acts and Regulations have been superseded by a single Equality Act 2010 and covers all the previous legislations and gives individuals more protection and includes all older people and also protection for individuals not to be discriminated against on the grounds of sexual orientation, a few of the points of the act are as follows:- Protection against direct and indirect discrimination, harassment, victimisation in services and public functions, premises, work, education, associations and transport. Applying the detriment model to victimisation protection(aligning with the approach in employment law) Introducing a new concept of discrimination arising from disability. This act will give protection to individuals on rights, equality and diversity and maintain that individuals are respected and given choice
2.2 As a care worker it is vitally important to respect the beliefs, culture, values and preferences of all the individuals I support, the ways that I can do this is to set myself a high standard of working which takes all individuals choices into account and respect these and impose my own preferences on the individual, recognising my own prejudices however hard this may seem is important as these are a result of my own values and beliefs and can create conflicts in the working environment, it is important to seek advice and speak with my supervisor if I feel I will struggle with any issues in the work setting, being professional and understanding that we are all different and we have a right to be cared for which respects diversity will ensure individuals feel valued even if this care is not what I think is best for them because of my own beliefs and what I think is better for the person, I must ensure that the individuals I support feel valued and respected and not discriminated against in any way, individuals need to make choices about how they wish to live their lives, having the correct balance is vitally important it will give the individual empowerment to make these choices which exercise their rights, feel valued and build self-esteem.
What also is very important is to never tolerate any discriminatory behaviours in the workplace and I should always challenge these behaviours at every level and report these concerns to my manager immediately, my workplace policies and procedures need to be adhered too which will have procedures in place that respect diversity are acknowledged and respected and these must be followed, the types of behaviours that are unacceptable for example: meal choices that does not cater for cultural preferences, not respecting individuality, removing individuals choice to make their own informed decisions, not maintaining independence for the service user, not showing empathy and giving dignity and respect.
Question 3 3.1 3.2 3.3
3.1 As a care worker it is important to recognise that individuals have a right to be supported in ways that will ensure that they are valued, respected and are included and also that their diversity is valued and are treated equally, individuals have a right to participate in everyday life and activities as independently as possible, the support they receive should be person-centred which will maintain they have the correct level of support and promotes choice of the individual and access to other services that may be needed so the individual can achieve their best potential and will build self-esteem, I must be as a care worker flexible in the support that I give as support can change, so it is my responsibility to be aware of changes so correct levels of support is still to be given that maintains the individual is at the centre of any changes and decisions to be made and their choice, wishes and preferences are maintained.
Care and support should be given to the individuals in the ways that they require and not to suit the establishment that I work in, social support services have changed dramatically over recent years as personalisation agenda’s is ensuring choice and control are firmly in the hands of the service user’s using care support services, direct payments and individual budgets are widely used today which will give service user’s control over, how, when and who gives them support.
The impact of powerlessness is detrimental to service user’s as this will contribute to their self-esteem and how valued that they will feel, as human beings we all like to feel valued and for others to understand and respect who we are, also to respect the choices and the way we live, if this was taken away from us or service user’s they would feel un-valued and would have negative effects on their well being behaviours and confidences, also would have impact on their independence and control over their own life which in turn would make the individual more dependent , they also could then in turn have low self-esteem and feel useless and depressed. Individuals who feel confident and happy, valued and loved will be far more enthusiastic to participate and try to do as much for themselves as possible.
3.2 At one time individuals were told the level of care they can receive, how it would be given and the times they would receive it, in 2005 the White Paper Our Health, our care and a further policy Putting people first in 2007 changed the way care was given and is still to date developing, it is essential that control is given to the individuals, once assessments have been made and a budget given to the individual they can decide the amount and type of care they wish for and also they can choose to have the carer they want.
3.3Thier could be times when supporting an individual, that I identify a persons rights but they are unable to exercise their right through either physical or mental barriers, it is my responsibility as a care worker to recognise this and access further assistance or information, this could be for example: involve an advocate who will argue a case for another person, they will try to understand the individuals perspective and argues their case, my own organisation will have procedures in place that will assist me in gaining the services of people who will act as advocates for them. It may also arise that I will need to support an individual in a more informal way this could be for example ‘A day centre that is not fulfilling a cultural need of an individual’ it is my responsibility to challenge this with the manager and ensure that this will be corrected immediately and the individuals cultural needs are being met.
It is important to ensure that I provide support that will encourage the individual to take control and make their own choices and decisions that will enable them maximum participation in every aspect of their lives and if possible make their own decisions and only put the support in on the gaps that the cannot possibly do for themselves. if I witnessed a discriminatory incident I would address the situation by reporting it to my manager and recording it immediately. By doing this it is more likely to be dealt with in the appropriate manner If I overheard someone making a discriminatory remark or not promoting equality or valuing diversity I would challenge them in a calm and professional way and tell them that what they were saying or doing, is unacceptable and explain why.
I could also add that I am upset and offended by their discriminatory words and actions and that it is unlawful. In a work setting, discrimination can be a disciplinary matter and policies and procedures are in place to deal with this. I could actively challenge discrimination by acting as a role model for positive behaviour and by empowering people to challenge discrimination themselves. Discrimination usually occurs through ignorance. By making a person aware of the facts it will educate them and hopefully change their opinions and actions in the future.
Courtney from Study Moose
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