EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICY

March 2022

STATEMENT OF INTENT

The Child Therapy Service CIC is a not-for-profit organisation that specialises in supporting an individual’s social, emotional, and mental health needs.

We are passionate, determined, and diverse team of professionals committed to social equality – by providing creative resources, training, support, and therapeutic programmes that meet the needs of a diverse generation.  Our mission is to empower families and professionals to identify and reduce these difficulties – to enable all young people, to thrive within society.

The Child Therapy Service CIC is guided by best practice in equality, diversity, and positive discrimination.  Our core values shape everything we do.  An inclusive, empowered neurotypical and neurodivergent community, committed to social equality.  Therefore, we endeavour to take positive action to ensure that those who are disproportionately under-represented in society are represented.

This requires us to work actively towards supporting disadvantaged children and families in our society.

We are committed to valuing diversity and promoting equal opportunities. We believe that we must ensure that our support groups reflect the diversity within families and education settings.   That all structures are inclusive and represent a broad range of interests within social, emotional, and mental health needs.

The Child Therapy Service CIC recognizes that many people in our society experience discrimination or lack of opportunity for reasons which are unjust. These include race, religion, creed, colour, national and ethnic origin, political beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability (including mental illness), neurodiversity, HIV status, marital status, responsibility for dependants, appearance, geographical area, social status, income level or criminal record.

The Child Therapy Service CIC will challenge discrimination and lack of opportunity in its own policy and practice and will help other organizations and individuals to do the same.

The Child Therapy Service CIC aims to create a culture that respects and values each other’s differences. We see these differences as an asset to our work as they improve our ability to meet the needs of the organizations and people we serve.

EMPLOYER

All volunteers and freelance contractors whether part-time, full-time or temporary, will be treated fairly and with respect.  Selection for employment, promotion, training, or any other benefit will be on the basis of aptitude and ability.

We will create an environment in which individual differences and the contributions are recognised and valued.  Every volunteer and freelance contractor is entitled to a working environment that promotes dignity and respect to all.  No form of discrimination, intimidation, bullying or harassment will be tolerated and if committed will be treated as a disciplinary offence.

Our equal opportunities recruitment and selection procedures are monitored, and we ensure that recruitment information is widely available to encourage applications from all sections of the community.

Decisions about learning and development opportunities will be made in accordance with the Staff Development policy and all staff will have access to opportunities to enable them to develop in line with the Child Therapy Service CIC’s aims and objectives.

Our salaries are in line with approved national scales and we work within employment legislation and good practice guidelines to encourage good employment and management practice across the sector we serve.

ACCESS

The Child Therapy Service CIC is committed to making access to its services as easy as possible and accessible to all regardless of their disability.  This is achieved by holding all services remotely via Zoom.  This allows vulnerable families to access services, from home – knowing that their individual needs will be met.

SUPPORT SERVICES

The Child Therapy Service CIC believes that our support services play a vital role in the reduction of social, emotional, and mental health difficulties within young people.  This will enable neurodiverse individuals to access society equipped with the social, emotional, and mental health ‘tools’ to succeed.

We have a responsibility to promote good practice in equal opportunities and inclusion through all the groups, networks, and partnerships with which we work.

The Child Therapy Service CIC is committed to include families and professionals in the design, delivery, and review of services to meet their needs.  Priority is given to meeting the needs of neurodiverse groups who may suffer from exclusion or discrimination.

IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING

This policy outlines the general approach the CTS is taking to put into practice its commitment to equal opportunities and diversity.

Induction for any Freelance Consultants, Coaches and Volunteers will include a briefing on the Equality and Diversity policy.

Monitoring of the Equality and Diversity policy and its implementation is the responsibility of the CEO, Tracy Chadwick, who will review it annually to ensure that there is a programme of continuous improvement.

Breaches of our Equality and Diversity policy will be regarded as misconduct and could lead to disciplinary proceedings.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY STATEMENTS

AGE

We will:

  • ensure that people of all ages are treated with respect and dignity;
  • ensure that people of working age are given equal access to our employment, training, development and promotion opportunities; and
  • challenge discriminatory assumptions about younger and older people.

 DISABILITY

We will:

  • provide any reasonable adjustments to ensure disabled people have access to our services and employment opportunities;
  • challenge discriminatory assumptions about disabled people; and
  • seek to continue to improve access to information by ensuring availability of: loop systems; Braille facilities; alternative formatting; and sign language interpretation.

 RACE

We will:

  • challenge racism wherever it occurs;
  • respond swiftly and sensitively to racists incidents; and
  • actively promote race equality in the Organisation.

GENDER AND GENDER REASSIGNEMNT

We will:

  • challenge discriminatory assumptions about women and men;
  • take positive action to redress the negative effects of discrimination against women and men;
  • offer equal access for women and men to representation, services, employment, training and pay and encourage other organisations to do the same; and
  • provide support to prevent discrimination against transsexual people who have or who are about to undergo gender reassignment.

SEXUAL ORIENTATION

We will:

  • ensure that we take account of the needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning) and others; and
  • promote positive images of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or sometimes questioning), and others

RELIGION OR BELIEF

We will:

  • ensure that Freelance Consultants and Coaches’ religion or beliefs and related observances are respected and accommodated wherever possible; and
  • respect people’s beliefs where the expression of those beliefs does not impinge on the legitimate rights of others.

PREGNANCY AND MATERNITY

We will:

  • Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of pregnancy or maternity;
  • challenge discriminatory assumptions about the pregnancy or maternity of our Freelance Consultants and Coaches; and
  • ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account of the needs of our employees’ pregnancy or maternity.

MARRIAGE OR CIVIL PARTNERSHIP

We will:

  • Ensure that people are treated with respect and dignity and that a positive image is promoted regardless of marriage or civil partnership;
  • challenge discriminatory assumptions about the marriage or civil partnership of our Freelance Consultants and Coaches; and
  • ensure that no individual is disadvantaged and that we take account of the needs of our employees’ marriage or civil partnership.

EX-OFFENDERS

We will:

  • prevent discrimination against our Freelance Consultants and Coaches regardless of their offending background (except where there is a known risk to children or vulnerable adults).

EQUAL PAY

We will:

  • ensure that all Freelance Consultants and Coaches, male or female, have the right to the same contractual pay and benefits for carrying out the same work, work rated as equivalent work or work of equal value.