Promoting equality

We are committed to promoting equality, valuing diversity and working inclusively across our entire organisation.


Check out our blog for pride month 2019 by clicking the button below:

Pride month 2019


We uphold these principles in our behaviours and practices – as an employer, as a service provider and as a campaigning organisation.

We oppose all forms of discrimination and intolerance in the workplace and service settings. We have a zero tolerance approach to bullying, harassment and victimisation.

We work to identify and remove or reduce any barriers and inequalities in the access to our employment opportunities and service provision, through consultation, impact assessment, monitoring, reporting, action planning and review. Our aim is to break down all barriers of discrimination, prejudice, fear or misunderstanding.

Q&A with our deputy Chief Executive Carol Iddon

We've put together a gender identity guide - a guide to support children and young people with their gender identity.


"Action for Children were hugely supportive and we will always be grateful to them"

LGBT Adopters

We use the Equality & Human Rights Commission’s nine protected characteristics to help focus our equality and diversity work and ensure the Code of Practice is followed to inform the procedures and practice standards.

Find out how we drive diversity

We aim to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation and have due regard to advancing equality for the relevant protected characteristics. We will not tolerate discrimination against employees or service users who have one or more of the protected characteristics:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Sex
  4. Gender reassignment
  5. Marriage and civil partnership
  6. Race
  7. Religion or belief
  8. Sexual orientation
  9. Pregnancy and maternity
"The greatest thing about working for Action for Children is the team around me. I think this stems from the work we do as an organisation; improving the lives of others"

Muhammed Gora
Business Support Officer

Gender Pay

Our workforce is an integral part of our ability to achieve our ambition for children. It is key to ensure that we address issues that will affect our ability to recruit, attract and retain our workforce. The gender pay gap creates an unequal and unjustifiable environment that we aim to address through current and new initiatives.

At Action for Children our aim is to reduce the median pay gap by 50% within the next 5 years. We are committed to every member of staff having equal opportunity within the workplace regardless of their gender. You can find out more on our pay gap outcome and plans by downloading our gender pay gap statement.

Gender Pay Gap Report.pdf

Our staff networks

Inclusion Champions

Inclusion Champions act as ambassadors for equality, diversity and inclusion within their department or geographic location, sharing best practice and cascading information- ensuring that these equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of policy/process and system development. Inclusion Champions aim to ensure that colleagues are talking about equality and diversity and that inclusion is visible throughout all our ways of working and behaviours at work.
Champions meet centrally on a quarterly basis and have local meetings to share practice and idea's. The role consists of:

• Promote equality, diversity and inclusion.
• Promote personal and professional development.
• Build communication networks.
• Enhance the reputation of Action for Children.
• Act as a role model, actively challenging inappropriate behaviour & practices.
• Raise issues of discrimination and exclusion with appropriate managers.
• Support colleagues to engage in positive conversations about the benefits of equality, diversity and inclusion.
• Act as a knowledge resource for colleagues, taking questions from colleagues and sign posting appropriately.

Inspire Network

Inspire aims brings colleagues together from across the UK who have experience of a disability, are caring for family of friends or who have been diagnosed with an illness or are recovering from an illness.

The aims of Inspire are:

* To promote disability equality and ensure staff and volunteers with a disability are fully supported within the workplace.

* To promote the interests of staff with a disability, carers and staff recovering from illness across the organisations.

* To challenge stereotypes by promoting a positive image of staff and volunteers with a disability, carers and staff recovering from illness.

* To raise awareness of non-visible impairments ensuring inclusion of people whose conditions are hidden such as mental health conditions, learning differences, HIV.


Celebrate LGBT+ Network

Action for Children has an LGBT+ network for staff and volunteers called Celebrate. It has a core committee, who work on its events, communications, and publications, as well as ensuring internal policies and procedures are inclusive and respectful of LGBT+ staff. We're here to make sure Action for Children has a safe, inclusive and diverse working environment, and that equality is high up on everyone's agenda.

When we can be who we really are at work, we perform better, and provide better services, so our network has a direct and positive impact on our work with children, young people and families.
Every staff or volunteer is welcome to join the network - we have around 100 members across all departments at Action for Children, some of which identify as LGBT, and others who are allies and keen supporters of equality and diversity.


GEN- Gender Empowerment Network

Action for Children’s Gender Empowerment Network launched earlier in the year and aims to:

Proactively address and challenge gender inequality through research, collaborative working and effective communication

Communicate messages of equality across the organisation and the external world and support, develop and empower members

The membership team meets face-to-face and virtually so please don’t let location put you off. If you have a passion for gender equality and a desire to see the organisation champion gender empowerment please join us. We meet bi-annually for committee meetings and hold networking events throughout the year. Our next event is in GQS on the 16 November 2017. We are launching more regular member hubs called Gender Matters to discuss topics of gender with your colleagues and there will be a whole host of webinars and training materials to learn more.

The best thing about chairing this Network is working with, being inspired by and learning from members about how we can empower each other. It’s fantastic to see how change can actually happen when a group of people get together.”  Beth Munby, Chair.


Christian Network

AFC Christian Network is for staff who identify with or have an interest in the Christian faith. The Network provides a platform to build a community of Christian staff in the workplace to support each other, all colleagues and Action for Children’s work, spiritually, intellectually and professionally.


  • Fellowship – enable Christian staff to interact for mutual support and growth to live Christian values in the workplace.
  • Advice – work with leadership and the Head of Inclusion to promote diversity and inclusion.
  • Pastoral care – support the spiritual and emotional well-being of all staff through prayers and value-adding activity.
  • Awareness – contribute to excellent service delivery by helping staff understand Christian beliefs and how they can affect our staff and service users.
  • Be a door into the community– help Action for Children engage and build effective relationships with all communities to promote and enrich our work

Every fortnight on a Tuesday from 12.30 to 1.00pm, we have a teleconference to pray and share our reflections on what the bible says about the Christian life, especially in the workplace.  The format is simple, enabling us to blend diverse ways people worship so that everyone can enjoy it and benefit from it. Prayers cover thanksgiving, Action for Children's work, the Christian Network, and specific prayers for staff, their friends and family, and AFC supporters. In the past, our reflections have looked at workplace issues and behaviours, and peace. We welcome those who are not in a place where they can freely take part in the conference, and wish to dial in and listen quietly.



The Breakthrough project explores how Action for Children can better recruit, support and develop Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff, to address the under-representation across our workforce.    One of Action for Children’s equality scheme objectives states ‘We will improve the diversity of our workforce and strive towards the most senior levels within the organisation reflecting the broadest possible diversity.’  The 2017 staff survey shows Action for Children employs 11% BAME staff compares to 14% of the UK population, 12% of the Labour Market and 40% in London (Census, 2011).    The third Sector appears to be particularly unrepresentative of the ethnic diversity of the labour market. Only 8.8% of staff working in the third Sector classify themselves as BAME, compared to 10.8% in the public sector, 11.2% in the private sector (NCVO, 2015), and 14% of the UK population. 

The UK population is becoming increasingly diverse. 1 in 4 schoolchildren in primary and secondary school today in England are from a BAME background (Department for Education, 2015). Action for Children must keep pace with the changing population dynamics, look to the future, and ensure that our workplace is an inclusive place, representative of society, free from implicit and explicit discrimination, and able to harness the best diverse talent to deliver services to children, young people and families across the UK. 

Colleagues and volunteers who identify and BAME and allies are invited to join the project.  There are opportunities to join focus groups, have your voice heard through 1:1 and complete a confidential survey.  Please join us!


Homeworkers' Network

The Homeworkers’ Network provides a support network for employees who work at home or have moved from office-based to home-based working.

The aims of the Homeworkers’ Network are:

  • To promote the benefits of homeworking.
  • To raise awareness of the issues related to homeworking.
  • To prevent ‘professional isolation’.
  • To mentor, develop and motivate staff, and increase confidence.
  • To keep homeworkers informed about what is going on across the organisation.
  • To ensure the wellbeing of staff and gauge stress levels.

download our homeworkers' network leaflet

Virtual networks

Family Support Practitioner Network and Enable

There are emerging themes across the UK for the children, young people and families.  To keep children safer and happier, the virtual networks share topics, good practice and barriers to achieving our aims.  Family support practitioners work with a wide range of children young people and families and have direct insight into the issues within their communities.  Enable brings together practitioners from across the UK to advocate on behalf of disabled children and young people.

  • We meet quarterly (virtually)
  • We talk about emerging themes
  • We share good practice and barriers to progress
  • We network and learn about the work of our colleagues
  • We listen, support and never judge

We partner, we collaborate and we share

Join Action for Children’s virtual networks and share the themes and issues within your area of work.  Network, develop and learn more about the work of your colleagues across the UK.

Fostering Champion Network

This staff network is for staff in our fostering services to support embedding participation and inclusion with children in foster placements and foster carers.

The network is a virtual group that meets bi-monthly to:

  • Be a best practice sharing forum which will encourage participation of children, young people and foster carers in service delivery and support.
  • Creation of digital welcome pack for children and young people.
  • Create a Young Ambassador scheme with children in care or care leavers. 
  • Innovative ways to capture and include children and young people’s views in the service.
  • Information gathering and promotion of existing examples of participation in fostering both internally and externally.

Right Choice guidance to include specific examples of how to include children and young people in foster carer and staff recruitment

Brand new network – ‘Feeling Fine’

This is a staff network for staff that explores well-being. An opportunity for staff to virtually come together and share tips, review books and reflect.

Menopause Support Group

Menopause Support Group

There are more than 3.5 million women over the age of 50 currently working in the UK.  Action for Children’s Menopause Support Group brings together women from across the organisation, to talk, support and share.  The group meets bi monthly and also has a private group in which to share tips, messages and to network.

download our menopause network leaflet

To join any of the above networks or to find out more information, please contact the following colleagues:

We make sure all staff are trained to be able to support LGBT young people. The service has a dedicated weekly LGBT youth group, where young people can access specific support and activities.

Halton Youth Service's Operations Manager and Director for LGBT Youth North West, Sally Carr said: "We regularly celebrate LGBT events throughout the year and we train LGBT young people to deliver workshops in youth provisions and schools, and at major events such as the Halton anti-bullying conference. We are active members of the borough's LGBT planning group, and have set up our 11 youth clubs as third-party hate crime reporting centres, including training our staff to support young people to make reports, if necessary."

We developed a partnership with Mermaids to help provide a voice to children, young people and families living with gender identity and transgender issues. The first element of that partnership saw us produce “Where do the mermaids stand?” an anthology of poetry, prose and artwork developed by children, young people and parents.

We also produced a good practice guide, developed and produced alongside a number of children, young people and families and informed by the expertise of Mermaids and other key support groups and organisations.

Anne and Karen, a lesbian couple:

"Action for Children welcomed us straight away. We had home visits, visits with friends and relatives, and a three-day training course where we met other couples hoping to adopt. The whole experience was great and we made friends with other prospective adopters.

"As teachers, we were interested in adopting one or two boys with more challenging behaviour, especially those that were slightly older as these are often harder to place. We had mixed experiences with social workers at this stage. Some showed intolerance or negativity due to our gender or sexual orientation. Eventually, though, the social workers of two boys contacted Action for Children enquiring about us. When they visited it was immediately apparent that they were seriously interested in us as prospective parents.

"We spent two weeks getting to know the boys and at the end of the two weeks they came to live with us. This was the end of what, at times, had seemed like an impossible task, but the beginning of what has been an amazing journey for all of us.

"Action for Children were hugely supportive and we will always be grateful to them. We would also like to encourage anyone seriously interested in becoming adoptive parents to persevere - it will at times seem like a long, drawn-out process but one that is so definitely worth it."