Equality is about ensuring that every child has an equal opportunity to make the most of their abilities. It is about ensuring children can develop to their fullest potential, and that no child has to endure poor life chances because of discrimination. Much of the work social services do for children is to help level the playing field for children who experience disadvantages. Services should be designed with the support needs of children at the centre. However, not all children will access this support in the same way and some will experience additional barriers due to poverty, racial prejudice, being disabled and other forms of inequality and marginalisation.
Practical ways for services to put the principle of equality and non-discrimination into practice
- Include a clear commitment to promoting equality and tackling direct and indirect discrimination against specific groups of children in all significant policies, and share this as a clear and consistent message across the service.
- Undertake Children’s Rights Impact Assessments, which incorporate analysis of equality issues, to consider how decisions at service level may impact different groups of children and what steps will be needed to mitigate this.
- Provide space for practitioners to understand and discuss challenges of equality and non-discrimination.
Learn more about how JIGSO apply the principle of equality and non discrimination:
Jigso is a team of midwives, nursery nurses (health), family facilitators and early language development workers (Local Authority). This partnership project has been developed to support young parents with their parenting journeys, many of whom are 18 or younger. Young parents often feel that they face discrimination due to stereotypes and assumptions about their backgrounds, behaviours and capabilities.
We met with parents receiving support from JigSo. They shared how the project had empowered them through their personal support, such as helping to advocate for the parents and child when required and giving time and practical tips to parenting. This joint project is a positive example of how services can work together to empower young parents through targeted support. It also demonstrates how services have worked to promote equality and non-discrimination by supporting families to reach their potential.