What Is Anti-Discriminatory Practice?

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According to UK-based social work specialist group Working with Children in Barnet, anti-discriminatory practice is a way of working with various families while promoting diversity, self-esteem and the fulfillment of individual potential. Other key aspects include promoting the value of differences and fostering positive group identity.

Working with Children in Barnet also points out additional information related to anti-discriminatory practice. Social workers should be aware of legislation regarding discrimination in the realms of social work and family care. Such legislation is typically intended to promote equal opportunity in a very thorough manner. However, changing laws does not, by itself, change individual attitudes regarding discrimination. Representatives promoting anti-discriminatory practice may be the first point of contact certain family members have regarding different points of view about groups typically discriminated against, and the worker should be keenly aware of his own baggage so he does not come off as simply lecturing from a position of moral superiority.

According to Working with Children in Barnet, the actual enforcement of anti-discriminatory practices should ideally start by highlighting and discussing behavior that the social worker finds dangerous and threatening, including racism, sexism, homophobia and abuse. Highlighting direct discrimination also helps the social worker target behaviors as they surface, which helps to reassure the family that the worker is not simply making assumptions or discussing offensive behavior that actually has few negative consequences.