1.6 Valuing diversity
Social workers need to recognise diversity: valuing and respecting service users – irrespective of, for example, their ethnicity, gender or age – is central to good practice. It is also about working in a way that counters the unfair or unequal treatment of individuals or groups on the basis of their race, gender, class, age, culture, religion, sexuality or ability. There is a growing body of law that seeks to prohibit and punish a range of discriminatory behaviours in various kinds of social setting, for example in the provision of services and in employment opportunities. For social workers, valuing diversity entails more than this – there is a professional obligation to challenge discrimination of any kind, whether legislated against or not.