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Assess the possible effects of discrimination

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Discrimination occurs when someone is treated differently because of his socio-economic, physical, cultural and social background or his beliefs. In a social care environment this can be manifested in the form of labelling stereotyping or abusing an individual. Such practice will have negative effects on the physical, intellectual and emotional and social health/ wellbeing of the individuals being cared. Discrimination can be obvious or not depending of the situation, if we take for example a nursery where one child is autistic and does follow instructions given by carer/teacher, he will be labelled as troublemaker and separated from his peers for been disruptive. The discrimination made by the teacher in this case is not obvious. In another situation in a health and social care setting, the carer put the food in front of an adult that have physical disabilities and is unable to feed himself and doesn’t help feeding him/her and the carer shouts at him and treats him as a lazy individual.

In doing so the act of discrimination is obvious as there is visible abuse. In both cases illustrated above the individuals are victims of discrimination which can have effect on their health and wellbeing. The Physical health and well being of an individual victim of discrimination can be affected by headaches, poor appetite, sleeplessness and poor eating habits such as bulimia as they can turn to junk food for comfort or suffer anorexia as they might be put off food. In result of this, they will lose or gain weight which can lead to medical implications such as high blood pressure and diabetes, have ulcer, lack of energy. In the case above, the adult might be scared of been shouted at by his carer that he might claim not be hungry. The possible effect of discrimination on the emotional health of an individual are low self esteem, lack of confidence, insecurity, feeling unwanted and withdrawal all these could lead to depression and anxiety and self harm.

There could be a lack of cooperation and a change of behaviour in the individual as for example; if an hospital user feel discriminated because of its ethnic origin, he might decide not to attend the hospital anymore as he does not feel welcome hence putting his health at risk. The Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 Outlines the duty of organisation to promote good relationship between people from different races. Health and social care assistant have the duty to provide equal service to users regardless of their ethnic origin, it is they duty to ensure that the users are provided with the necessary information that will help them to make the right decision.

The possible effects of discrimination on the social health and wellbeing of an individual could be isolation, feeling like a stranger, feeling rejected to build friendship. The individual might withdraw from friends and family. If we take the case of the nursery child left aside by the teacher whilst she take care of the other kids because of his illness will feel reject by his teacher and friend this is often leading to teenager self harming. It will be difficult for him to make friends if he is separated from them during class and might actually be bully.

There should be clear guidelines, code of conducts and legislation in place to protect the right of such individual against discrimination and its consequences that can last once whole life. The Children Act 1989 recognised that the welfare of the child is paramount and set out a system for safeguarding children. A key principle is that Local Authorities have a duty to provide services for children and their families and all children and young people should have access to the same range of services. Service provider should ensure that their staffs are trained to identify difficulties and differences between the services users. As supported by the Children Act 2004, this Act updates but does not supersede Children Act 1989. The Act provides a legislative spine for the wider strategy for improving children’s lives. This covers the universal services which every child accesses, and more targeted services for those with additional needs. The Children Act 2004 placed a new duty on local authorities to promote the educational achievement of looked after children.

Discrimination affects the intellectual health of an individual by causing a loss of interest, loss of motivation, restricted opportunities, poor job prospect, poor life achievement; an individual that is finding it hard to cope in college because of his disabilities is more likely to drop off because he is not provided with sufficient support. We can say that not providing the necessary support is restricting his access to education which is contrary to the education Act 1996 which sets out the schools responsibilities towards children with special educational needs. The Act also requires that school provide additional equipment and resources and/or support to meet their needs. Such individual will suffer from stress, will be unable to cope which could lead to mental illness.

Discrimination in any form has an effect on the physical, social, emotional and intellectual health or wellbeing of an Individual. In occasion a care provider could act in what they believe to be for the best interest of individual or other service user without realising that it is an act of discrimination. When the child is left aside at the nursery in the situation mentioned above it could be argued that it is for the interest of the other children. It is therefore very important for health and social care provider to ensure that the legislation and code of practice are followed by all member of staff and that once an act of discrimination is identified this immediately acted upon as per the guideline in place.

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