Equality and Diversity
1. Equality and Diversity for Children and Young People
This procedure summarises the local authority's commitment to provide inclusive and equal services and practice with a diverse range of children, young people and their families and carers, and to promote equality and diversity as part of our recruitment and employment practices. The local authority will not discriminate (directly or indirectly) against any persons (including staff, potential staff, children or foster carers) on the basis of a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010:
- Gender reassignment;
- Marriage and civil partnership;
- Pregnancy and maternity;
- Religion or belief;
- Sexual orientation.
- Within our social work and social care practice we will encourage children to develop respect for themselves and for others;
- We aim to deliver services that recognise and build on the strengths of children, young people and families from all cultures, religions, genders, ages, sexual orientation, abilities and backgrounds; in ways that meet their needs and help them to achieve their full potential;
- Every effort will be made to ensure that our services are welcoming to all children and young people and others significant in their care and wellbeing. Resources used to develop work with children, young people and their families and carers are thoughtfully chosen for their suitability, positive image and anti-oppressive nature;
- Staff and foster carers are informed and supported to provide non-judgemental and affirmative support to children and young people regarding gender, identity and sexuality;
- Staff and foster carers will be supported to and are expected to challenge attitudes, behaviour and language that are non-inclusive and discriminatory, in a positive way, and are enabled to do this via accessible resources, development opportunities and regular supervision;
- Children are protected, and helped to keep themselves safe from bullying, homophobic behaviour, racism, sexism, radicalisation and other forms of discrimination. Any discriminatory behaviours are identified and challenged and help and support are given to children and their families about how to treat others with respect. To enable this staff and carers have access to accessible resources, development opportunities and dialogue, encouraged and supported via regular reflective supervision to identify and address discrimination and bias;
- To ensure the service provision is reaching all and not creating barriers to certain groups, managers are supported to identify and monitor the range of children and young people placed in terms of ethnicity, gender and disability and to participate and contribute to team and service wide discussion and practice development supporting equality, diversity and inclusion.
2. Inclusion for Children and Young People
- Assessment and care planning will incorporate the Essential Anchor Principles and C- SMART principles to ensure that each child’s story, needs and potential is identified, understood and supports positive change;
- Before making any decision affecting a child placed or to be placed with a foster parent, due consideration is given to the child's wishes and feelings (having regard to the child's age and understanding), and religious persuasion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background and other protected characteristics;
- Children are encouraged and supported to understand their rights and to be supported by staff and carers able to identify and address discrimination;
- Managers, staff and foster carers are expected to identify and utilise local community resources that contribute to meeting the needs of individual children and young people. These will be highlighted and promoted and where they do not meet required needs alternatives will be sought and suitably identified regardless of geographical location if this is in each child’s best interests following relevant assessment;
- Children are cared for by carers who have been suitably trained in all aspects of promoting equality and diversity including legislation and their responsibilities within this, and who have regular opportunity to access supervision and dialogue about their own learning needs and experiences;
- Assessments of the child/young person's specific needs are carried out with an aim to support and develop each child to reach their full potential, which includes specific reference to their individual characteristics, culture, identity and experiences;
- Carers are supported to to identify ways in which diversity can be valued and activities adapted to meet the individual child's needs including food preparation and menu choices;
- Additional support is offered to carers, staff and/or children who are finding difficulty in understanding diverse or complex situations which might exacerbate discrimination.
3. Equality in Employment
A comprehensive Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy relating to employment published on Staffnet. It was last reviewed and relaunched in September 2021 and aligned to best practice: Fairness, Diversity and Equality at work - Staffnet.