Equality and diversity are two essential components of working within the health and social care sector. Good equality and diversity practices make sure that the services provided to service users are fair and accessible to everyone regardless of their individual needs and differences. They ensure that people are treated as equals, that people get the dignity and respect they deserve and that their differences are celebrated, not set aside. Equality and diversity is promoted in many settings that provide services for many individuals, for instance at the community centre that I am currently doing work experience clearly promotes equality and diversity.
This community centre provides a variety of services for people in the local area, most of whom have been referred by Social Services. Equality and diversity is promoted within the centre to check all individuals have the same opportunities as everyone else, this is done to ensure that the correct treatment is administered and that it doesn’t differ from one service users to the another due to their; age, sex, religious beliefs, disability or even race. One reason this is done in the centre is to prevent any discrimination and to make people feel equal and respected.
The community centre makes certain that equal access is granted to individuals for different parts of the services they wish and want to be in. Clearly, certain individuals have additional needs within the centre which leaves the professionals at the centre to make sure that they are treated fairly and have given the same chances which have been offered to everyone else, these could be having the mental capacity to access the services that those individual want and are suitable for them in terms of their needs. Professionals can do this by offering the same care despite their disability and background, as well as communicating with the service users and listening to their wants and needs as well as any concerns they may have.
Additionally, the community centre promotes diversity as the centre passionately promotes in recognising service users’ own personal differences and act upon this, rather than setting it aside thus leaving service users to feel comfortable at the centre. Diversity is all about appreciating the ‘differences’ between people, these can be things like people’s values, cultures, and religious beliefs etc. Diversity ensures professionals and workers at the centre to offer diverse support and help to all of the things which make the service users different. One way the community centre promotes diversity can be the way that they respect many different religions by celebrating religious occasions such as Easter, Christmas for service users who follow the Christian faith and Ramadan and EID for service users who are Muslim.
Doing these celebrations is a huge success as for instance, if a service user supports a specific culture and they can celebrate at the centre with other people i.e. stuff members or service users in the centre this will allow them to feel at ease and shows them respect we have. As well as this another advantage of celebrating different religions at the centre is that ensures that other service users to learn and understand different religions and cultures which can help to prevent discrimination within the local communities and as well as the wider society.
The equality act (2010) legally protects people from discrimination in the workplace and in wider society. This act replaced previous anti-discrimination laws with a single Act, making the law easier to understand and strengthening protection in some situations. This act ensures that all health and social care settings treat people equally. This specific act simplifies the definition of what is called ‘direct discrimination’ this defined as discrimination which is on purpose and can be easily noticed by somethings like someone being rude or hostile towards someone for being different.
The equality act (2010) takes steady steps to try and increase diversity which is seen as the main problems in a health and social care settings which is that people don’t feel listened to and that cultural complexes are not taken into account, therefore this act ensures all staff are trained to treat all individuals equally and that service users with a specific needs don’t get singled out or get treated unfairly just because of their individual needs and differences.
In Alice’s case this centre mentioned to her that she could attend the classes still but as a compromise stand away from the other individuals who are in the class to avoid them being distracted due down to her drinking problem and aggressive tone. The manager is right to believe this is not discriminating because she is still allowing her to attend however, it isn’t allowing Alice to have the same opportunities as the other people which could lead to her feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed because she is being singled out. In my opinion it’s all about equality therefore I would have clearly handled this situation in a complete different manner.
For example, instead of just asking Alice to stand away from the class I would have changed this by asking all the people who attended the class to spread out so there is an equal space between all. This will result in Alice feeling like she is being treated like the others instead of her thinking she is being punished. This is a good example to show how the centre would promote equality and how we would treat people fairly with respect despite their background.
To conclude even though the manager didn’t treat Alice the same way I would have, she has offered support in different ways to try and give Alice the best chances in life.