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


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 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.

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

Find out more about how we drive diversity


Gender Pay Gap

Our staff are key in our ability to achieve our ambition for children. We aim to reduce the median pay gap at Action for Children by 50% within the next 5 years. We want to make sure every member of staff has equal opportunity regardless of their gender. You can find out more on our pay gap outcome and plans in our report.

Gender Pay Gap Report

LGBT+ equality

As well as celebrating our LGBT+ staff with our organisational values and staff networks, we support LGBT+ children and young people across the UK. We've compiled some useful information, guides and links to supporting LGBT+ children and young people.

Read more

You can also read our guide to supporting children and young people with their gender identity.

Download the guide

Our staff networks

We have a range of networks for our staff to promote equality throughout our organisation. These include:

  • Breakthrough 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;
  • Celebrate+ brings together LGBT+ staff and volunteers, and allies who are keen supporters of diversity and equality. Celebrate+ aims to make sure every member of staff can be who they really are at work, and feel supported and fully included.
  • 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, spiritually, intellectually and professionally;
  • GEN - Gender Empowerment Network seeks to proactively address and challenge gender inequality through research, collaborative working and effective communication;
  • Green Group aims to raise the profile of environmental issues throughout the organisation and make changes on a local and organisational level to improve our sustainability;
  • Homeworkers' Network provides a support network for employees who work at home or have moved from office-based to home-based working.
  • 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 our work;
  • Inspire brings colleagues together 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;
  • Menopause Support Group provides a space for discussion, and sharing experiences and advice in a supportive and confidential environment.
"Action for Children were hugely supportive and we will always be grateful to them"

LGBT Adopters

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."