Values in Social Care Practice sample essay

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This essay will discuss my values and those used in social care practice, sociological and psychological influences regarding discrimination and anti-discrimination. The meaning of discrimination and anti-discriminatory practice and to identify and describe three pieces of legislation designed to promote anti-discriminatory practice.

Values and beliefs are about what a person finds important to you; what a person believes to be right and wrong. Values are usually learned by primary socialisation, parents or family members which may change throughout a person’s life. One personal value is being non-judgemental. This value originated from hearing people judging others including myself.

Another personal value is being honest; this value originated from primary socialisation. If a person is not honest that person may not be trusted. The third value is empathy, in order for me to do my job well I have to show empathy toward people so they feel I am listening to their concerns and they in turn feel valued. Care values that underpin social care practice are belief’s about the right way to treat the client or service user; when the care values are put together, this makes up the care value base.

The value base is about promoting anti-discriminatory practice, maintain the individual’s confidentiality, promoting their right to dignity, privacy and to help the individual become more independent, valuing individual’s personal beliefs and identity, protecting service users from abuse and communicate effectively to provide care that is individually based to their needs and wants. Discrimination and anti-discrimination practice is were a person or persons are treating other people/groups of people less than others due to factors such as their race, disability, colour, gender, age, nationality, ethnic origin and religion. Anti-discriminatory legislation is put in place to prevent discriminatory practice.

Another form of discrimination is institutional discrimination this refers to the policies of the dominant race/ethnic/gender in institutions and the behaviour of individuals who control these institutions and implement policies that have a differential and/or harmful effect on the minority race/ethnic/gender groups within that institution.The equality act (2010) “consolidates and replaces the previous discrimination legislation for England, Scotland and Wales” in Equality and Human rights Commission (January) 2011.

People must not allow their views or beliefs effect the way they treat the service user. The protected characteristics of The Equality Act (2010) are; age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation in the Anti-discrimination Act (1991) which is now replaced by The Equality Act (2010). A potential dilemma or conflict in care that could effect a care workers values and belifes could be where a service user has diabetes and refuses to eat foods to meet the specific needs of their condition, as a service user, they have the right to choose what they wish to eat, however, as someone supporting that person, has a duty to care and must explain the risk of eating non diabetic foods to the service user.

The Equality Act (2010) set out the different ways in which it is unlawful to treat someone with discrimination, harassment, victimisation and failing to make adjustments for someone with a disability in Equality and Human Rights Commission (March 2011).

The sociological influence on the understanding of discrimination and anti-discriminatory practice may be better understood by reference to Bronfenbrenner`s circle of influence. The inner circle represents the individual, the next circle is represented by family, work and the neighbourhood and the next circle represents the shared cultural values, beliefs and laws. As an individual we are influenced by family (microsystem) and the wider community (macrosystem). Our family defines our beliefs, values, culture and how we perceive the world around us. Our interaction with the wider community is governed by our interaction with our family. Many prejudices seem to be passed on by parents to children which also include the media. Many people who discriminate merely are conforming behaviour as this can bring about the support by others; therefore rejecting prejudices may lead to loosing social support.

We are under pressure to conform to the views of our family, friends and others around us. Prejudice rises when groups are in competition for jobs were there is economic pressure. Ethnocentrism is people evaluate others` cultures and beliefs based on their own. Group closure is where groups have boundaries between themselves and other groups even refusing to have interrelations with other groups.

Conflict theory – in order to have a higher social status and power, the more privileged groups make sure that no competition for resources arises from the more minority groups in society. People in power have even resorted to acts of violence to protect their interests but may find the minority group retaliate with acts of violence to improve their circumstances.

Self-esteem hypothesis suggests that the level of a person’s self-esteem is linked to prejudice and by elevating a person’s self-esteem can reduce prejudice amongst people in the psychology and prejudice and discrimination. However according to the contrast hypothesis is to bring together groups to share the differences and learn from one another in Group processes and intergroup relations. Co-operation hypothesis is having conflicting groups set aside their differences and work together to a shared goal. Finally, legal hypothesis is that prejudice and discrimination can be eliminated by law using legislation and jail sentencing for discriminative behaviours towards individuals and groups. However, laws do not change peoples` attitudes toward others.

Considering the psychological influences upon understanding discrimination and anti-discriminatory practice are simpler to sociological influences, for instance cognitive/behavioural approach Pavlov and skinner believe our behaviour is learned and reinforced. However, people react differently in different situations because of how we view them and that this behaviour be it in a discriminative way can be changed so that the person’s reaction is a more positive one in care in practice (sec ed).

The care values expressed in the national care standards are implemented in the policies and resources. Care workers have to work within the policies set out by the employer which provides regulation for both care professionals and service users for example A policy is typically described as a principle or rule to guide decisions and outcomes made by care workers to assist service users on their journey through the care service. A typical policy could be that a service user has the right to practice their religious beliefs as reflected in the (NCS) standard number thirteen “You are given the opportunity and support you may need to practise your beliefs, including keeping in touch with your faith community” in The National Care Standards.

By implementing the standards it ensures that everyone receives the same high standard of care to every individual using the service. The human rights act (1998) protects not only the service user but all of society. In particular Article 14: non-discrimination states that there is to be no discrimination based on the grounds of: sex, colour, race, language, religion, political or other opinion, origin, property or any other status not listed above in liberty, Making sure service users are not discriminated against.

Another act to protect service users is The regulation of care (Scotland) act (2001) the act is put in place to improve the standards of care services, the act not only is connected to Human rights act (1998) but to the (N.C.S). The act is all about service providers being accountable for the respect of human rights of equality and diversity reflected in article 14 of the human rights act (1998) in Scottish human rights council, but empowers service users to be aware of their own right.

In conclusion this essay discussed my values and their origin, how my values are reflected in social care. Discrimination and anti-discriminative practice was explained. An example of institutional discrimination was given as well as some of the sociological and psychological approaches/theories are used to help understand discriminative behaviour. The identification and description of three pieces of legislation designed to promote anti-discriminatory practice were discussed.

In discussion of my personal values it was explained how these values are used in the care of service users and their effect upon the service user, having unconditional positive regard for the service user the barriers of discrimination can be broken down using the values that mean the most to me. Discrimination and anti-discriminatory practice were described using a piece of legislation designed to eliminate all discrimination against all people and not just those that use the care services.

The understanding of sociological influences was explained by using Bronfrenbrenner’s circle of influence and discussing the sources of prejudice and discrimination and having an understanding on how important our interaction with others influence our behaviour toward others.

Using a sociological theory the conflict theory can be used to explain how groups of people are discriminated against by more powerful individuals in society and how different hypothesis can be used to reduce prejudice and discrimination, showing how important it is to embrace each others differences and learn to accept one another. Psychological influences were discussed and how these approaches can help us understand certain behaviours with regard to discrimination.

Using the cognitive/behavioural approach to understand people’s discriminative behaviour knowing that a person’s discriminative behaviour could be changed by learning a new behaviour. The national care standards were discussed and an explanation was given on how they are implemented in policies used by care workers and their effect on service users. Finally; pieces of legislation were explained and how important they are in promoting anti-discriminatory practice within the care sector.


Care in practice for higher (2nd ed) Miller, Janet Gibb, Susan Baker. (2007)

Equality and human rights commission
Http:// [Accessed] 07/09/2012 Http:// [Accessed] 07/07/2012

Group processes and intergroup relations [Accessed] 07/09/2012
Http:// [Accessed] 08/09/2012

Liberty [Accessed] 08/09/2012

S.H.R.C [Accessed] 08/09/2012

Bernard, E. Whitley, JR. Mary, E. kite, (2010) The psychology of prejudice and discrimination (2nd ed) Wadsworth, Cengage Learning