Introduction to Equality and Inclusion in Health Social Care

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1.1 Explain what is meant by: diversity, equality, inclusion & discrimination. Diversity means differences in ethnicity, heritage, customs, beliefs and values. It could be someone’s physical appearance, mental capabilities, etc. I teach the children in my care that their personal identity which is formed from a young age allows them to realise they are their own person. Diversity is positive and should be respected and valued because nobody is completely the same as anyone else. Telling them that being different from everyone else makes us unique, and that we must value the diversity and differences that surround us, in order to work together to make our society a positive place to live.

Equality is often defined as treating everyone the same.  But I believe true equality means treating everyone differently in order to accomplish equality. In childcare every child has the right to equality of opportunity; it means each child would be given the same chances as each other to achieve all aspects of learning. Treating each child as an individual allows this to happen. Each unique child has their own needs and requirements and it’s up to me as a childminder to understand each child’s individual characteristics and know how to inspire them to be successful and feel equal in today’s contemporary society.

Inclusion, this is the total opposite of discrimination and I think it means to be fully included, to make people feel valued and respected irrespective of ethnicity, gender, disability, medical or other need, culture, age, religion and sexual orientation. It is about giving equal access and opportunities, breaking down barriers and getting rid of discrimination and intolerance. Inclusion to me in my setting is about making everyone including assistance; children and their parents feel truly welcome, valued and respected. Helping them feel part of my childminding family, allowing them to participate in all activities, giving them the right to have access to equality of opportunity and letting them know they can achieve anything and everything,

Discrimination could take the form of stereotyping, making assumptions, patronising, humiliating and disrespecting people, taking some people less seriously. Discrimination could be direct or indirect, and both are covered by equality & diversity legislation. Direct discrimination is where one person is, has been or will be treated less favourably than another, in a comparable situation. Indirect discrimination is where an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice will put one person at a disadvantage, compared with another. Included in discrimination are harassment and victimisation. It denies the child the right to learning opportunities, leaving them feeling less valued or inferior to others. Young children can experience harassment and victimisation. Harassment could include bullying, name calling, making offensive comments in the way of insinuations possibly about their religion of beliefs. It could be they are avoiding sitting or working close with another child leading to the other child feeling unwanted and isolated. Through my childhood I was a victim of constant bullying and fully understand the way a child feels, and are so vigilant on these matters, always making sure the children in my care know how important they are and how valued and loved they are. Harassment is another way it could be in a way an individual speaks to another in a mean, demeaning way mocking them.

Victimisation can be presented in many ways, it could be that an individual is refused, denied or ignored. Victimisation can present itself in the way of racism, sexism and disablism amongst many. All the above are forms of discrimination and totally unacceptable in today’s society.

1.2 Describe ways in which discrimination may deliberately or inadvertently occur in the work setting.

My equal opportunities policy

I give all children in my care the...
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