Principles of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Adult Social Care Settings


Diversity means different, we are all different whether it be different races, different sexes, different backgrounds, differences between religions and beliefs, different sizes big or small different hair colors, eye colors, etc. By recognizing and understanding we are all different we can create an environment in which each individual feels valued for who they are. As care workers, we will be working with many different people and we must treat them as an individual and not treat them any different from people who are similar to ourselves.


Equality means treating everyone with equal rights, choices and ensuring that their individual needs are met without being discriminatory. An example is Joe is a wheelchair user and you feel he needs help getting into a building using equality you would ask Joe does he require assistance rather than not giving him a choice.

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Inclusion is working in a way that aims to include an individual or group regardless of their differences. Inclusion is about providing help and support where appropriate for people with differences.


Discrimination is a prejudice that is a way of thinking based on prejudgement of an individual or group rather than on facts. Prejudice can be positive or negative if we are positively prejudiced we think well of them if we are negatively prejudiced we think less of them and are usually against people who are different from ourselves. Discrimination happens when we act out our negative prejudice and judge people based on their differences rather than the person they are.

The potential effects of discrimination can be different for different individuals. The effects can be Emotional, Physical, or both. For example, a service user who is visually impaired may not be given a chance to join in because others think that they are not able to do so. This will make the service user feel very different and isolated from others.

There are many other possible effects:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Feeling withdrawn from society
  • Humiliation
  • Weight loss/ gain
  • Anger
  • Loss of motivation
  • Long term depression
  • Increased behavior problems
  • Difficulty communicating

These effects listed are not only ones that affect the individual they are effects that are felt by the service users’ family and friends too they can be isolated from society through trying to protect their loved ones and can experience verbal abuse for having a family member that is perceived to be different.

The importance of inclusive practice in promoting equality and supporting diversity

The inclusive practice promotes an individual’s rights to access equal opportunities and ensuring this happens promotes diversity. There are various pieces of legislation that have been put in place to promote quality and reduce discrimination. The legislation is in place to promote quality for everyone. This is regardless of sexuality, age, disability, race religion, or any other difference.

The legislation should have an impact on the way organizations provide services and the way practitioners approach their practice. It is important to recognize that whilst legislation is important as it protects people it cannot change people’s attitudes. It is good practice to ensure that practitioners are constantly able to evaluate what they do and they receive appropriate support and training in equality and diversity.

Inclusion is a right to be included and can be done by making sure that everyone is included in day-to-day activities they have an equal chance to learn and develop, feel safe, and know they belong, are valued as unique individuals.

Inclusive work is built on promoting equal opportunities and it is anti-discriminatory. In practice it means to work flexibly, a system in place that takes into account what each individual can offer and what the individual need.

Inclusion involves making sure individuals have the opportunity to be involved in day-to-day activities if they wish to be involved. Care workers need to be aware of inclusive practice in their day-to-day work as this will enhance individuals’ satisfaction, increase their confidence, create a safe environment and reduce people feeling left out and become more vulnerable.

Key legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion, and discrimination in adult social care settings.

There are various pieces of legislation in place to promote equality and reduce discrimination. These include:

  • The Disability Discrimination Act 2005
  • The Special Educational Needs and Disability Act 2001
  • The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000
  • The Human Rights Act 1998
  • The Sex Discrimination Act 1975 (as amended)
  • Employment Equality Regulations 2003
  • Equality Act 2010
  • Social care codes of practice
  • Essential standards

The above legislation and codes of practice are in place to promote diversity, equality, inclusion, and discrimination in the workplace. If you do not ad hearing to these can lead to dismissal, warning, or being taken to court.

The possible consequences of not actively complying with legislation and codes of practice relating to diversity, equality, inclusion, and discrimination in adult social care settings.

Legislation and codes of practice are legal requirements if these are not met they can lead to you being prosecuted, fined, giving your employer a bad reputation, dismissal without notice, and receiving warnings. If you do not ad hear to legislation and codes of practice this will not be tolerated by employers or the law.

How own beliefs, culture, values, and preferences may affect working practice?

Everyone has different values, beliefs, and preferences. What you believe in, what you see as important, and what you see as acceptable is an essential part of who you are. When building relationships with people you may find that you can communicate with people who have the same interests, values, and culture as you do more effectively than those who have different interests, values, and cultures.

However, when building professional relationships you are required to provide the same quality of support for all service users, not just the ones you share your views and beliefs with. Working in the health and social care sector you are bound to come across people whose views you do not agree with and who don’t understand your point of view, being aware of differences and your reaction to them are a crucial part of you and your personal and professional development. If you allow your preferences to control your work you will fail to perform to the standards, code of practice, legislation, and laws in place. All the standards, code of practice legislation, and laws are designed to promote people’s individual views, beliefs, and values. To make the right responses when there is a clash between your views and those of the people you are working for you have to identify and understand your views and values.

Ways to ensure that own interactions with individuals respect their beliefs, culture, values, and preferences.

When interacting with individuals I would find out about their beliefs, culture, values, and preferences by communicating with them and discussing the way they would like their care plan to be undertaken.

For example what time they wish to get up in the morning, what they would like for breakfast, what clothes they want to wear etc.

Although my beliefs culture values and preferences may be different from the individuals I would never impose my differences on others nor would I treat people any different too because I don’t agree on which their ways. I would have
an open-minded view of other people’s opinions and remain professional throughout my interactions with people. I would not make assumptions about an individual based on their beliefs, culture, values, and preferences. If the individual had certain styles of communication I would communicate in the way that the individual has requested.

Comparing inclusive practice with a practice that excludes an individual.

Inclusive practice is when you include the individual in every step of their care plan and encourage them to make decisions their selves promoting independence, rights, choice, and respect to the individual. Practice that excludes the individual is when you make the decisions for the individual and exclude them from making decisions in the care they receive.

An example of inclusive practice is:

Mary would like to wake up at 7 am daily and have a variety of breakfasts she does not like having the same breakfast every day. She would also like to get a shower after her breakfast with a member of staff assisting her throughout as she is frightened of falling over. She would then like to be taken to the recreational area to watch TV and participate in activities. At 8 pm she would like someone to assist her to go to the pub to see her friends and family.

Using inclusive practice you would try to meet all of Mary’s needs and she would have been included in the decisions.

An example of a practice that excludes an individual is:

Waking Mary up at 5 am, letting her shower alone because you’re too busy to assist her, giving her porridge every day for her breakfast. No taking her to the pub but making her go to the bingo instead because it was in the care home rather than outside of it.

By excluding Mary from her care plan she will feel vulnerable miserable and like all of her rights, choices, independence, and respect have been taken away from her.

How to challenge discrimination in a way that promotes change?

Challenging and promoting changes of discrimination can occur in many different ways and we must challenge them when we encounter discrimination or prejudice. If this happens in a setting we should have strategies to challenge what was said or done by: not tolerating any form of discrimination  taking immediate action when discrimination occurs  empowering individuals to challenge discrimination themselves when it occurs recording and reporting fully all incidents of discrimination that occur to the relevant person providing information, a code of practice or policy that explains the discriminatory practices that must not occur providing training to make everyone aware of ways to prevent and challenge discrimination

People are influenced by their upbringing and the world around them, in their local community, and the media and can develop prejudiced views. Sometimes people behave in discriminatory ways, making hurtful remarks or excluding others form activities because of some aspect of their lives whether it be gender, ethnicity, family background, disability, or appearance. People sometimes don’t understand the effects this has on individuals this can become bullying or harassment but we should question why a person should be expected to endure such comments that hurt them.

As a care worker, your job is to try and encourage people to think of others as the same and educate them on other religions, gender, ethnicity, appearance and try to make them think about how they would feel in that situation.

How to raise awareness of diversity, equality, and inclusion? How to support others to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion?

There are many ways to raise awareness and support others to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion, through providing leaflets to staff service users and other professionals associated with the company or putting them on notice boards. Providing information on policies and procedures within the company and laws:

Providing leaflets and sufficient information regarding diversity and equality can raise awareness to a social care worker, service users, etc. by acquiring adequate knowledge about it. It also helps them to know about the consequences if agreed ways of working are not followed which restrain them from doing any form of discrimination relating this issue.

Have group workshops to raise awareness of new legislation that has come into place and to encourage them to use the legislation already in place. Make all staff aware that following legislation policies and procedures is within their job role.

Provide further training for people to develop their knowledge. Using case studies where discrimination has taken place to reflect on the behavior and how it can be changed.

You can support others to promote diversity, equality, and inclusion but giving them better knowledge and training to further their knowledge and encourage them to encourage others to promote these. Do activities which are fun and will help people to remember the law, policies, and procedures around Diversity, equality and inclusion are a part of their job.

Although you can’t make people change their opinions you can educate them on the difference, even if they decide to make their own decisions.

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Principles of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion in Adult Social Care Settings. (2016, Aug 13). Retrieved from