Welfare Rights Officer, Stockport Advice Member since 22nd Jan 2004
Religion and sexuality Fri 28-Nov-08 08:23 AM
Do other welfare rights services out there collect information on clients' religion and sexuality?
I'm interested in any experience of how this goes down with the general public, and whether there are any good ideas about the best way of collecting the information (ie preferably without opening up a long discussion on the subject when I'd rather be talking about benefit issues).
welfare rights adviser, sefton metropolitan borough council, liverpool. Member since 22nd Jan 2004
RE: Religion and sexuality Fri 28-Nov-08 09:19 AM
Our team has just embarked on a 6 month equalities and diversity monitoring project. This involves ticking a series of boxes on a page of A4 on topics such as religion, race/nationality, sexuality, disabilty, employment status, gender and gender assignment. It is all done anonymously: no names on the forms, for example.
We can either go through the form with the client at the end of the interview or, if like me you would rather be b------d before you would ask a pensioner couple (in for a quick benefit check, say) their sexual orientation, can give them the forms to take home, complete (partially, fully or not at all) and return in a pre-paid envelope, stressing complete confidentiality, etc, etc.
This is going to become a lot more prevalent as this is government led and public and local authotities will certainly not be able to avoid it.
Welfare lawyer and social policy collator, Basingstoke CAB Member since 13th Mar 2007
RE: Religion and sexuality Fri 28-Nov-08 06:03 PM
In addition if you are in a voluntary organisation, grant givers often want to check how inclusive your service is.
I have to say our local authority only wants to know about age, sex and ethnic background/language/nationality, so far anyway. This too is all the the Citizens Advice CASE netwoork recording system is set up to record.