Unit SHC 33
1.Equality is about treating people fairly regardless of their differences, by ensuring that they have access to the same life opportunities as everyone else, ie that they have equal opportunities. Diversity means variety, for example age, sex, sexual orientation, physical characteristics such as height, weight and skin colour, ability, personal experiences and personal attributes, such as beliefs, values and preferences. Inclusion is about accepting everyone regardless of difference. It is also about getting rid of intolerance of differences and providing help and support where appropriate. A prejudice is an attitude or way of thinking based on an unfounded, unreasonable pre-judgement of an individual, particular group of people or situation, rather than on a factual assessment. Prejudices can be positive or negative. If we are positively prejudiced towards someone, we think well of them. On the other hand, if we are negatively prejudiced against someone, we tolerate them less. In the main, negative prejudices develop against people who are different in some way. Discrimination happens when we act out our negative prejudices. Discriminatory behaviour results in unfair, unjust treatment. Inclusive practice is about the attitudes, approaches and strategies taken to ensure that people are not excluded or isolated. It means supporting diversity by accepting and welcoming people’s differences, and promoting equality by ensuring equal opportunities for all. Inclusive practice is best practise. Health and social care workers demonstrate inclusive practice by working in ways that recognise, respect, value and make the most of all aspects of diversity. Having a sound awareness of and responding sensitively to an individual’s diverse needs supports them in developing a sense of belonging, wellbeing and confidence in their identity and abilities. And it helps them to achieve their potential and take their rightful place in society.
2.In England and Wales, the General Social Care Council (GSCC) is responsible for ensuring that standards within the social care sector are of the highest quality. It has developed Codes of Practice for all care workers that include information on how to protect and promote the rights of individuals using the service. The Codes of Practice provide a guide to best practice and set out the standards of conduct that workers are expected to meet. As a social care worker, you must protect the rights and promote the interests of individuals and their carers. This includes Promoting equal opportunities for service users and carers and respecting diversity and different cultures and values. Health care workers also have an obligation to protect the rights and promote the interests of patients. It is the duty of public bodies and their employees to promote equality. Personal feelings about patients must not interfere with the standard of your work. By law, you must provide all patients with high-quality care which reflects their individual needs, whatever their race, sex, sexuality, age, religious belief or disability. This means that you owe patients a ‘duty of care’ and they can expect a ‘reasonable’ standard of care from all workers. Preferences are highly individual. They develop and change throughout our lives and having a preference enables us to make an informed choice. The General Social Care Council (GSCC) Codes of Practice for Social Care Workers and Employers directs social care workers to treat each person as an individual; respect and, where appropriate, promote their individual views and wishes; and support their right to control their lives and make informed choices. Whilst a health or care worker might not agree with the beliefs and values of the people they work with, nor share their preferences, inclusive work practice involves respecting and promoting:
The right to freedom of thought and religion i.e. their beliefs, The right to freedom to express their beliefs as they wish,
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