Equality, Diversity and Rights

SCOPE OF THIS CHAPTER

This chapter summarises our commitment to provide inclusive and equal services to a diverse range of children and young people.

Also see United Nations Rights of the Child: Article 3, 12, 14, 17 and 39.

OUTCOME STATEMENT

  • Childhood First is committed to ensuring that our communities are environments in which individual differences are recognised and valued and where diversity is welcomed and celebrated;
  • Children are supported to have a positive identity of themselves and to receive care which is personalised to meet their needs;
  • Each child's background, gender, religion, racial origin, cultural background, linguistic background, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, abilities and interests, are promoted so that all children have the chance to maximise their potential.

RELEVANT CHAPTERS

Caring for Children from Minority Ethnic Groups Procedure

AMENDMENT

In May 2018 this chapter was slightly updated in regard to the Equality policy.



Contents

  1. Equality and Diversity for Children and Young People
  2. Inclusion for Children and Young People - Staff Responsibility
  3. Equality in Employment


1. Equality and Diversity for Children and Young People

  1. We encourage children and young people to have the right to be treated with fairness, equality, dignity, and to develop respect for themselves and for others;
  2. We deliver services that recognise and build on the strengths of children and young people from all cultures, religions, gender, age, sexual orientation, ability and backgrounds; in ways that meet their needs and help them to achieve their full potential;
  3. Every effort is made to ensure that Communities are welcoming to all children and others significant in their care and wellbeing; this effort is reflected in the communication around the Community, including: posters, information boards, displays and leaflets. In addition to this, resources used to develop work with children and young people are chosen for their suitability and anti-oppressive nature;
  4. Children are offered opportunities to try out new experiences, which are not restricted by traditional gender options;
  5. Children have the right to express their views freely in all matters affecting them;
  6. Staff are expected to challenge attitudes, behaviour and language that are non-inclusive and discriminatory, in a positive way;
  7. Directors are expected to monitor the range of children and young people placed within the Community in terms of ethnicity, gender and disability. This is to ensure the service provision is reaching all and not creating barriers to certain groups.


2. Inclusion for Children and Young People - Staff Responsibility

  1. Staff should promote good practice with regard to children's rights;
  2. All children are given the opportunity to be cared for and educated. Where possible this is alongside their peers in order to develop their full potential; 
  3. Children are encouraged and supported to understand their rights and be well-informed about ways of challenging discrimination;
  4. Community Directors are expected to identify local community resources that contribute to meeting the needs of individuals - these are highlighted and promoted and where they do not meet required needs alternatives are sought and suitably identified regardless of geographical location, for example hairdressers who specialise in braiding or cutting African Caribbean hair;
  5. Children are cared for by staff who have been suitably trained in all aspects of equality and diversity including legislation and their responsibilities;
  6. Community Directors ensure that assessments of the child and the families specific needs is carried out with an aim to support and develop their full potential;
  7. Community Directors are expected to examine ways in which diversity can be valued and activities adapted to meet the Individual child's needs including food preparation and menu choices;
  8. Staff are expected to acknowledge the importance of maintaining a link between the child's home and the Children's Home in meeting the individual's need;
  9. Staff are expected to offer appropriate support to aid inclusion and ensure that the child young people can fully participate in the Communities activities. If necessary seek additional support in order to do this;
  10. Additional support is offered to staff and/or Children who are encountering difficulty in understanding diverse or complex situations;
  11. Staff should balance listening to children and young people whilst not overlooking or abstaining from their own responsibility in relation to the needs of the same children;
  12. Children should be enabled to express their views about the services and if necessary to be supported by an Independent Advocate, should they wish to complain.


3. Equality in Employment

  • We recognise that discrimination is unacceptable and  equality of opportunity has been a long-standing feature of our employment practices and procedures. Breaches of the Equal Opportunities policy will lead to disciplinary proceedings and if appropriate, disciplinary action;
  • The aim of the policy is to ensure no job applicant or employee is discriminated against either directly or indirectly on the grounds of race, colour, creed, nationality, ethnic or national origin, religious belief, political opinion or affiliation, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability;
  • We will ensure that the policy is circulated to any agencies responsible for our recruitment and a copy of the policy will be made available for all employees and made known to all applicants for employment;
  • The policy will be communicated to all private contractors reminding them of their responsibilities towards the equality of opportunity;
  • The policy will be implemented in accordance with the appropriate statutory requirements and full account will be taken of all available guidance and in particular any relevant Codes of Practice;
  • We will maintain a neutral working environment in which no worker feels under threat or intimidated.

3.1 Recruitment and Selection

  • The recruitment and selection process is crucially important to any equal opportunities policy. We will endeavour through appropriate training to ensure that employees making selection and recruitment decisions will not discriminate, whether consciously or subconsciously, in making these decisions;
  • Promotion and advancement will be made on merit and all decisions relating to this will be made within the overall framework and principles of this policy;
  • Job descriptions, where used, will be revised to ensure that they are in line with our equal opportunities policy. Job requirements will be reflected accurately in any person specifications;
  • We will adopt a consistent, non-discriminatory approach to the advertising of the vacancies;
  • We will not confine our recruitment to areas or media sources, which provide only, or mainly, applicants of a particular group;
  • All applicants who apply for jobs with us will receive fair treatment and will be considered solely on their ability to do the job;
  • All employees involved in the recruitment process will periodically review their selection criteria to ensure that they are related to the job requirements and do not unlawfully discriminate;
  • More than one person will carry out short listing and interviewing where possible;
  • Interview questions will be related to the requirements of the job and will not be of any discriminatory nature;
  • We will not disqualify any applicant because he/she is unable to complete an application unassisted unless personal completion of the form is a valid test of the standard of English required for the safe and effective performance of the job;
  • Selection decisions will not be influenced by any perceived prejudices of other Staff.  

3.2 Disability Discrimination

We believe in providing a welcoming, comfortable and accessible environment that is safe and easy to use for children, parents, relatives, staff, visitors and other users of the premises. We will endeavour to achieve equality of opportunity for all to ensure equal access to facilities. Where possible, we will avoid physical features that make it difficult for people with a disability and make reasonable adjustments to improve the environment.