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Social Inclusion

What are the five social inclusion principles and why should they be important to the work we do? The five principles help to improve our understanding of what ‘inclusion’ means in practice:
1. Understanding the needs of individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities
2. Recognising, planning for and responding to the changing demography of Suffolk
3. Recognising that social exclusion can affect anybody
4. Understanding the specific barriers to participation faced by individuals and communities
5. Involving individuals and communities from diverse backgrounds in planning services By considering these five principles when planning and delivering the services we provide, we can ensure that there is fair treatment and access to services for everyone in Suffolk.



Social Exclusion

Social Exclusion, Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion are inextricably linked. Sometimes the terms are used as one and the same. However, there are subtle differences between them as the following definitions demonstrate:
Social Exclusion occurs when people or places suffer from a series of often multiple problems including: unemployment, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime Working version environments, rural isolation, poor health and family breakdown.

Social Inclusion is the term given to policies and procedures, through which the problems causing social exclusion are tackled. Social Inclusion is not simply a remedy; it is also about preventing the circumstances that lead to exclusion.

Social Exclusion Unit
While the majority of people living in Suffolk enjoy a good quality of life, there are certain groups and communities who suffer from social exclusion. It is the responsibility of the Council and its wider partners to respond to this, and to develop a more inclusive and prosperous environment for the people of Suffolk to work and live in.

Community Cohesion is about recognising the impact of change and responding to it. It is about people within communities coming together to interact and participate with one another. Community Cohesion is principally the process that must happen in all communities to ensure different groups of people get on well together.
Commission on Integration and Community Cohesion 2007

It is useful to understand the distinctions between these terms. Awareness of the problems associated with social exclusion through to addressing, and preventing, those problems by ensuring policies and procedures follow the social inclusion principles leads to the outcome of community cohesion.

Will this create more work for us? Following these five principles should not create more work, but should in fact facilitate improvements to the planning and delivery process. This will ensure that all individuals, groups and communities across Suffolk are given due consideration, and lead to appropriate services being planned and delivered.

This toolkit uses the five principles to suggest some questions that should be referred to when preparing plans and policies. In addition, the Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion team are available to support all areas of the County Council in understanding and embedding these principles.

Faith & Politics in a Diverse Society- Baroness Amos talk


Principles

Does this really apply to the work I do? Yes, the five social inclusion principles should be applied to everything that we do, whether we work in areas like: Children and Young People’s Services including Education Adult and Community Services including Libraries
Economic development
Highways planning
Transport
Waste management
Rural services
Green spaces
Culture and sport
Community safety - The five social inclusion principles also support the Securing the Future programme, because by taking time to assess the needs of individuals, groups and communities who could be affected by our plans, policies and practices, the resulting service delivery outcomes should be more efficiently delivered. This will ensure a best fit between the needs of the population within the resources available.

Principle 1: Understanding the needs of individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities

i) Have you considered how your service could impact on individuals, families, neighbourhoods and communities across Suffolk? The principles will help you to consider the impact that the policy or service will have on all sections of the community, including excluded and marginalised groups. Is your service accessible to users, have you considered the needs of anyone who may need to use it? Is it in the right place, publicised to the right people, at the right times? This applies as much to the design of a road junction as to provision of care for the elderly.

ii) Have you involved all relevant public and voluntary sector stakeholders in the development of the policy or service?
For instance, the Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs); the Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) or voluntary and community sector partners. Do you really know what the needs are, have you consulted to find out?

Equality & Diversity - What is diversity?
Diversity is any and all of the elements of similarity or difference between people, whether these be visible or hidden (such as disability, gender, race, colour, ethnic origin, religion, belief, culture, nationality, national origin, age, sexual orientation, caring responsibilities, rural and urban isolation, poverty: the list is limitless). These can enhance or inhibit effective interaction between people, depending on our reaction to each of these elements.

What is our approach to diversity?
We value the range of different people in Suffolk, but recognise some can be disadvantaged and discriminated against both as an employee and a service user. We are committed to developing policies to tackle inequality and exclusion, by ensuring services are accessible and our recruitment and employment practices fair.

We want to make sure people are not discriminated against for any reason, and we will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. Produced by the Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion Team, Suffolk County Council
http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/LeisureAndCulture/CommunityCohesion/SuffolkCohesiveCommunity.htm



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