Respecting diversity & promoting inclusion
Acorns is committed to equality of opportunity and ensuring the needs of children, young people and families across our broad demographic are met.
To achieve this we constantly work in developing our knowledge, skill and awareness of diversity issues. The care we provide and the environment we create to give care reflects our ongoing commitment to respecting the diversity of the communities we serve.
Acorns Diversity Steering Group
Acorns has a Diversity Steering Group which comprises of a senior representative from each department across the organisation. The steering group meets twice a year. The aim of the group is to review Acorns work and ensure we have the systems and structures in place to provide a sensitive service for all Acorns families.
The group provides:-
- Strategic direction
- Supports education and training
- Influences policy practice across Acorns
- Offers a point of contact for advice and guidance
The outcomes of the Group are displayed in a Diversity Fact Sheet which is distributed internally to all Acorns teams and made available to commissioning groups.
Demographics - the statistics (2015-2016)
- 56% of families accessing Acorns identify as white and 38% of families identify as BAME
- Main religions of families accessing Acorns in Birmingham: 49% identify as Muslim and 25% as Christian
- Main religions of families accessing Acorns in the Black Country: 36% identify as Christian and 17% as Muslim
- Main religions of families accessing Acorns for the Three Counties: 37% identify as Christian and 35% as non-practicing
- 142 individuals required an interpreter during 2015/16, the vast majority were supported by Acorns staff who are multi-lingual
We have recently identified a diversity champion at each of the hospices who works alongside the wider care teams to ensure hospices recognise and celebrate a wide variety of cultural and religious events. This can be in the form of displays at the hospice and or celebrations involving food; such as Caribbean Days, Diwali, and Chinese New Year.
Many of our children use sign to communicate, we provide training for staff at our hospices so they are able to engage with children using sign, in addition the use of technology has seen some superb opportunities for engagement with all children who are both verbal and none verbal.
An extensive interpreting service is also available for all Acorns staff when liaising with families whose first language is not English.
Acorns have an Asian Liaison Officer who is able to provide ongoing support to South Asian children and families who use Acorns. The role also involves interpreting and providing staff training and publication of useful guidance for professionals who care for people from a South Asian culture. The Asian Liaison Officer has also developed very close links with the South Asian community across the Midlands.
Our Asian Liaison Officer is also responsible for organising parents groups and outings for South Asian families, the most successful of these being the Asian Mother’s Support Group.
Acorns provide care and support to people from all cultures, those with faiths, beliefs and religions and those without. We readily endeavour to provide the spiritual care and faith support required by the families and children who use Acorns. We have established links with faith leaders in the Midlands; in addition each hospice has spiritual resources to aide spiritual comfort. A private and appropriate quite place will always be provided for families wishing to pray, meditate or reflect. In the hospice we plan for and celebrate the major cultural, religious festivals and holidays each year. In respecting the diversity of the community we live in, everyone can share in the enjoyment of these special times of the year.
Each hospice has a spiritual interest group, which consists of a multi-disciplinary team of staff and volunteers who meet regularly to ensure spiritual care training is provided for staff teams, the hospice the artefact cupboard and comfort cupboard are maintained and links are encouraged with religious and faith leaders in the local area.