Inequality and Diversity Among Young People

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Practitioners supporting children and young people are working in increasingly diverse communities, with this brings inequalities and barriers to overcome. This essay will look at the importance of understanding inequality and diversity when working with children and young people. It will detail different types of inequalities including disability, ethnicity, wealth and educational inequality, each bringing different challenges and needing varied responses to overcome or support the children in these situations. The essay will critically analyse the approaches that have been used and look at how inclusive practice has helped children to feel part of their communities regardless of their race, gender or family set up. Finally the essay will look at the anti-discrimination laws and policies that have been introduced to guide practitioners and try to promote a more inclusive society. The Collins English dictionary (2014) states that diversity is “a state or quality of being different and varied”. These differences can be visible, for example a person’s skin colour, accent, or being in a wheelchair. They can however, be less visible to a new practitioner working with a child, for example a hearing impediment or high functioning Asperger’s which is not obvious at first sight. The less visible diversities can lead to practitioners assuming that they are the same and not focusing on their differences. It is responding and respecting the differences that promotes equality and encourages inclusive communities and social groups (Open University a, 2014). When working with children and their families it is vital for practitioners to think carefully about their own values and ensure that they are able to be open-minded and non-judgement... ... middle of paper ... ...inconsistencies that had developed over time (Department for Education, 2013). In theory this should help guide practitioners when working with children and young people, they should be able to locate the relevant guidance easily and use this to work within the law and give advice to the families and children, it should challenge practitioners own opinions and ensure that they are working in an inclusive and open-minded manner. It does however have amendments to the old law, for example in school protection against discrimination is now extended to pupils who are pregnant or have recently given birth, or who are undergoing gender reassignment. Practitioners working with the children or young people will need to ensure that they are clear that these laws only came into place in October 2010 and any act of discrimination before this time would come under the old law.

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