Diversity: Discrimination and Service Users

It is your role and responsibility to ensure that all staff promote equality, diversity and inclusion, whether dealing with service users directly or indirectly. This can be done in the following ways: Dignity and respect – respect individual’s need for privacy and dignity in the way that service is provided and the way that information is handled. Treat service users with tolerance and have a non-judgemental attitude Information and Communication – providing information in different formats for example large print, Braille, video, tape, total communication, other languages, providing an interpreter.
Value the contribution – that each individual can make. Create a productive environment in which everybody feels valued, their talents are fully utilised and services meet the requirements of diverse service users. Embrace difference as a way of attracting and retaining staff and improving customer satisfaction. Provide relevant and appropriate access for the participation, development and advancement of all individuals and groups. Remove physical barriers – overcome physical features by removing them, altering them, avoiding them or providing access to work or service by an alternative method.
Stereotypes, assumptions and bias – avoid using negative or offensive language and images which convey stereotypes. Avoid making assumptions about people’s ability to do things or not do things, their attitudes and their persona; circumstances. Don’t assume that you understand their needs and requirements. Don’t allow bias to affect decisions you make about recruitment, training, policies or procedures. Tailor services to needs – Provide auxiliary aids such as an induction loop, prayer room.

It is important that staff attend relevant training meetings and supervision so they are aware of their role and accountability with regards equality and diversity. Here they are able to learn the principles of good practice and keep up to date with new developments and changes to relevant legislations. During supervision you should ensure staff are fully aware of the complaints procedure and they should be encouraged to report any issues they feel need to be challenged regarding discrimination.
2. Challenge discrimination and exclusion in policy and practice Adult social care is a complex world of diverse organisations, dispersed responsibilities and growing user empowerment. As a provider of care and support you will need to ensure that you understand the legal framework regarding equality, diversity, discrimination and rights and be able to relate this to your everyday role. Managers at all levels and in all settings, should be seeking to ensure equality and eliminate discrimination by: engage people using services and their families in shaping future support, • present staff with a vision of a fair and equal service, • create cultures which support equality and challenge discrimination, • capture the commitment of the workforce and raise their awareness of the importance of equality • equip them through training, standards and supervision to recognise and tackle discrimination, and enhance equality. • work across boundaries with other agencies and services to raise the profile of equality and promote informed debate and commitment to change.
It is also about challenging others if necessary and speaking up for the individuals you support when they cannot speak up for themselves. It can be di?cult to challenge discrimination, particularly if it is institutional or practised by a colleague, so it is important that you consider how to deal with di?erent and often di?cult situations. To be able to challenge discrimination you require knowledge of policy, procedures and practice. If you feel con?dent about what is good practice, you will be able to deal more e?ectively with incidents that arise.
When discrimination happens it may be intentional, but it can also be because of ignorance and lack of understanding. It is not easy to change the views of others but you must challenge discriminatory comments and actions. It is important to learn assertiveness strategies that can help when you recognise discrimination. When challenging discrimination, you should: 1. explain what has happened or what has been said that is discriminatory 2. state the e?ect of this on the individual, group and others 3. suggest or model ways to ensure anti-discriminatory practice.
In my job role, you have a duty of care to challenge discrimination in a positive way and promote inclusion. When you are concerned about anti-discriminatory practice, whether by sta? or by service users, you should challenge it effectively so that future incidents of discrimination can be prevented. This will also empower individuals to understand their rights. When you are concerned about anti-discriminatory practice, whether by sta? or by service users, you should: • Always act fairly and try to see things from the other person’s point of view. Consider that there could be different pressures, needs and cultures. • Always use positive language and never use words or phrases that could be disrespectful towards another person.
• Do not allow prejudices and stereotyping to influence you and do not accept any type of discriminatory behaviour. 2. 3 Provide others with information about: • the effects of discrimination As a manager the best way to provide staff with information about the effects of discrimination is to ensure they regularly attend the appropriate quality, diversity and inclusion training. You could also discuss this area during team meetings, supervision and appraisal. You should ensure all staff are aware of the procedures to follow if they suspect discrimination is taking place or they are themselves the subject of any form of discrimination. All staff and service users should be aware of their rights. An easily accessible complaints procedure should be in use which can be accessed if they feel their rights are not being observed.
Studies have found that discrimination, racism and harassment may have significant mental and physical health consequences such as frustration, stress, anxiety, depression, possible nervous breakdown, or high blood pressure that can cause heart attacks. Negative effects of discrimination physically and emotionally: • Depression • Anger • Loss of self-esteem • Isolation • Feeling stressed or unable to cope The long-term effects could include: • Loss of motivation • Reduced individual rights • Restricted opportunities • Limited access to services • Mental illness caused by stress the impact of inclusion Research has suggested that the feeling of inclusion is a critical factor in bridging individuals’ differences in age, race and gender in the workplace. In terms of the workforce, inclusion may lead to the feeling of acceptance in an organization which links to satisfaction with the organization and commitment to it. This in turn leads to increased productivity and more effective team and partnership working. In respect of the service users, by considering their needs and then designing the services to meet those needs inclusion can be attained.
By enabling people to access services and informing and supporting them, developing their self-help skills and developing meaningful services. This improves health and wellbeing, reduces discrimination and increases inclusion in mainstream services. • the value of diversity Having a diverse group of workers and service users simply means recognizing that all the people are unique in their own way. Their differences could consist of their athletic ability, cultural background, personality, religious beliefs, and the list goes on.
There has always been diversity in the workplace, but in today society it is important to value and embrace it and make positive use of it. When people value diversity, they recognize and respect the fact that people are different and that these differences is generally a good thing. For example, when attempting to solve a problem, it is better to assemble a diverse team with many skills and many different ways of approaching the problem than it is to assemble a team that has all their strength concentrated in one area.
This in turn will not only benefit both your organisation and the team as a whole but also the service users who use your services. 2. 4 Support others to challenge discrimination and exclusion In your role as Manager one of your most important responsibility, with regards discriminations and exclusion is to ensure all staff have attended the respective training and are fully aware of the workplace policies and procedures in this area.
By ensuring staff have this information, knowledge and skills they will then be more able to identify situations where discrimination is taking place and will be aware of the correct procedures to follow in the event. Supporting both staff and service users to challenge discrimination and make a complaint will also be part of your responsibility. Service users should also be supported and encouraged to complain if they feel discriminated against or excluded. By providing service users with details of where they can seek further support and advice egarding discrimination, will allow them to feel they have more choice and control over their lives. Every workplace should have the following in place to aid both service users and staff to complain; • Whistle blowing policy • Complaint procedure • Appeals procedure Once a complaint has been made it is important to monitor and review the situation periodically to ensure no reoccurrence happens. Some complaints may result in a review of practice and a change to the workplace policies which you would need to oversee. This would ensure that there is a clear directive for future similar events, should they occur.

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