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Salford Children's Services Procedures Manual Salford City Council website

3.14.15 Leaving Care Service Transgender Policy

This chapter seeks to reflect Salford’s Leaving Care Service good practice in the field of Transgender. It provides considerable explanation of the issues and has a useful glossary. It also has a link to the ‘Government Equalities Office/gender intelligence, Providing services for transgender customers – A guide’ and ‘Transgender Trend – parents questioning the trans narrative’ (see Section 5, Further information). The chapter also highlights the relevant legislation which underpins the ‘equalities’ approach.

This chapter was added to the manual in May 2018.


Contents

  1. Purpose
  2. Transgender Identity
  3. Relevant Legislation
  4. Leaving Care Service Support Policy
  5. Further Information
  6. Glossary of Terms


1. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to explain Salford’s Leaving Care Service good practice in the field of Transgender considerations within our homes with the overarching aim to minimise the distress and disruption to all young people by:

  • Ensuring staff and managers are supporting Transgender young people inclusively and sensitively;
  • Providing an inclusive environment for all Transgender young people and young people in the process of transition;
  • Ensuring all staff members are aware and have relevant training to support transgender young people and those in the process of transition.


2. Transgender Identity

A transgender person feels that their external appearance (sex) does not match up with the way they feel internally about their gender identity. A Female to Male (F2M) person will have the external appearance or body of a female and identify their gender as male; a Male to Female (M2F) person will have the external appearance or body of a male and identify their gender as female.

The word ‘Transgender’ is sometimes used interchangeably with the term gender-variant but usually has a narrower meaning and different connotations than gender variant, including non-identification with the gender assigned at birth. Children and those that experience or show gender variance may or may not be transsexual, as some will not retain their gender variance following puberty because gender variance can be fluid.

It must be understood that some people with Gender Dysphoria may not want any treatment. Some may choose to be known by a different name or to wear different clothes. However, most or all young Transgender people (and their families) will need some expert support as they grow up and develop.


3. Relevant Legislation

The Human Rights Act 1998

The following Articles from The Human Rights Act 1998 support the rights and needs of Transgender people to live their lives in their true gender:

  • Article 8: right to respect for private life and family life;
  • Article 10: freedom of expression;
  • Article 14: the prohibition of discrimination.

The Gender Recognition Act 2004

The Gender Recognition Act 2004 is mainly concerned with the process by which a person can get a Gender Recognition Certificate, and correct their original birth certificate to match their true gender. This can only occur after a person reaches 18 years of age but is something that many younger people may aspire to.

Equality Act 2010 (Great Britain)

The Equality Act 2010 ensures legal protection against discrimination, harassment and victimisation (direct or indirect) for everyone under the nine protected characteristics defined in the Act, one of which is Gender Reassignment (also known as Transgender).

Part 6 of the Equality Act 2010 makes it clear that the Act specifically refers to schools and young people.

The Equality Act 2010 (2:1:7) states that:

A person has the protected characteristic of gender reassignment if the person is proposing to undergo, is undergoing or has undergone a process (or part of a process) for the purpose of reassigning the person’s sex by changing physiological or other attributes of sex.

The Act applies to employment, education and a range of other areas where discrimination may take place. In order to be protected under the Act, a young person will not necessarily have to be undergoing a medical procedure to change their sex, but they must be taking steps to live in the opposite gender, or be proposing to do so.

Sex Discrimination (Gender Reassignment) Regulations 1999

  • Individuals who intend to undergo, are undergoing or have undergone gender reassignment are protected from discrimination in work, school and vocational training (including higher education study);
  • Less favourable treatment relating to absences arising from gender reassignment is unlawful if:
    • The treatment is less favourable than if it had been due to sickness or injury;
    • The treatment is less favourable than if it had been due to some other cause and, having regard to the circumstances of the case, it is reasonable not to be treated less favourably.
  • Less favourable treatment includes the arrangements relating to terms and conditions or arrangements under which employment, education or vocational training is offered.

Discrimination

As stated, The Equality Act 2010 ensures legal protection against discrimination in employment, education, the provision of services and the delivery of public functions, in relation to the nine protected characteristics defined in the Act, one of which is Gender Reassignment. The legislation states that a school must not discriminate against a young person because of their Transgender status. Discrimination can be direct or indirect. Indirect discrimination occurs when a provision, criterion or practice applies to everyone but puts a person with a particular protected characteristic at a particular disadvantage, and it cannot be justified as a proportionate means of meeting a legitimate aim. An example might be an inflexible school uniform rule which offers no “unisex” options such as trousers for girls, and which would therefore create a particular difficulty for a F2M young person.


4. Leaving Care Service Support Policy

4.1 Attendance

The Salford Leaving Care Service will support requests for treatment and will facilitate young people’s attendance to appointments.

4.2 Transphobia and Bullying

Salford City Council has a robust anti-bullying policy. In line with this policy, transphobia incidents will be recorded and dealt with in the same manner as other incidents that are motivated by prejudice, e.g. racist or homophobic incidents. (See Countering Bullying Procedure)

4.3 Training

In order to ensure all staff and managers have the skills to support transgender young people and young people in the process of transition with their needs. Officers will be attending 0-25 LGBT training in 2018, (to be commissioned through children services), and will source training sessions on topics such as:

  • Safeguarding;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Gender Identity;
  • Tackling transphobia;
  • Relevant legislation.

4.4 Physical Education

Sports and Physical Education is a key aspect of the national curriculum and the physical and mental well-being of young people. Physical Education develops young people’s competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. A young Transgender person has the same right to Physical Education as other young people.

4.5 School Uniform

Transgender young people will be expected to follow the School Uniform Policy.

4.6 Name Changing and Exam Certification

If a Transgender young person wishes to have their preferred name recognised in the home, this will be supported and will feed on to letters home, report cycles and other information. Furthermore, the change of name and associated gender identity will be respected and accommodated by the Salford Leaving Care Service. It is a real indicator that the Transgender young person is taking steps to, or proposing to move towards a gender they feel they wish to live in.

It is possible for any document to be changed to reflect the chosen name of the young person. Changing the gender recorded on a birth certificate is not possible until a Gender Recognition Certificate has been issued. In order to change a name on other official documents such as a passport, it might be necessary for evidence of change of name to be produced: there are two main ways in which this can be done, by deed poll and by statutory declaration. The Citizens Advice Bureau and other transgender support organisations will have more information on this subject. (A person under 16 years of age cannot change their name legally without the consent of those with parental responsibility).

4.7 Transition and Medical Intervention

The Salford Leaving Care Service will work with social workers and other professionals to co-ordinate services for young people who wish to transition; they will liaise with specific agencies who will respond to the identified need. 

While most support for young transgender people in their daily lives will be around the social aspects of transition and only some transgender young people will want medical transition, it will be the case that for any young person undergoing medical transition, there will be an impact on their daily routine.

Medical treatment is provided in a series of phases which include:

  • A psychological assessment and counselling. Initially this would happen locally with a CAMHS worker who can then refer to a Gender Identity Clinic;
  • Medication to block the production of the natural hormones that feminise or masculinise the body during puberty. This may be followed by prescribing hormones to masculinise or feminise the body;
  • Gender Reassignment Surgeries would not usually be carried out until a person is over 18 years.

Coming to terms with your gender identity can be a difficult time for any person and starting the initial stages of medical transition can be particularly demanding for the young person and their family. It is a time where support could be needed. It is important to ensure that there is a procedure in place whereby the young person can access a form of counselling (if applicable) in order to support them through their transition. This would mean that a counsellor should be knowledgeable of transgender issues and the potential challenges the young person may face. Mental health can be impacted during transition for a multitude of reasons; therefore recognition needs to be given and adequate support must be in place around this.

Supporting the young person and their support staff (If applicable) is encouraged to have a positive understanding of transgender people/and young people in the process of transition

We will work towards a robust approach towards developing an understanding of transgender issues and prevention of transphobia, which will minimise the potential issues or concerns being raised by transgender individuals. Raising awareness of the approach to transphobia and supporting transgender young people will be implemented through:

  • Providing information about PSHE lessons on gender stereotyping, gender identity and transgender issues. This will include the equality objective (Public Sector Duty of the Equality Act) which supports needs of transgender children and young people;
  • Staff attendance on the LGBT safeguarding training.

There will be cases where a child or young person’s transgender identity is not widely known and the Salford Leaving Care Service should seek to protect this information, unless the transgender child or young person wishes it to be known.

Where a transgender identity is known to the wider community staff will need to ensure that they have a robust language using the Equality Act and a Human Rights approach to counteract any prejudice expressed or concerns raised.


5. Further Information

Transgender Trend – parents questioning the trans narrative

Government Equalities Office/gender intelligence, Providing services for transgender customers – A guide (November 2015)


6. Glossary of Terms

Binding – a F2M adolescent that is developing breasts may strap down their chest so that it is less obvious. This can be hot, uncomfortable and restrictive but very important to their psychological and emotional wellbeing. It might make certain PE lessons difficult for them to participate in and could sometimes lead to breathing difficulties, skeletal problems and fainting.

F2M – Female to Male, a person that was identified as Female at birth but came to feel that their true gender is actually male.

Gender – the way that a person feels about themselves in relation to their physical and mental self; the basis of their identifying as male, or female, or neither, or either, or both.

Gender Dysphoria – the medical condition that describes the symptoms of being Transgender

Gender Identity Disorder – GID is a medical term describing being Transgender, this tends not to be used owing to the subtext around the word ‘disorder’.

Gender Recognition Certificate – an official document presented by a Gender Recognition Panel that enable all official documents and records (including birth certificate) to be amended to the true gender of the individual thereby providing full legal recognition.

Gender Role – the social role/interaction with others, which gives expression to the inner gender identity and reinforces it.

M2F – Male to Female, a person that was identified as Male at birth but came to feel that their true gender is actually female.

Packing – a F2M person may wear a prosthetic item in their pants that will give a ‘bulge’ in their trousers so as to appear more male.

Sex – the way a person’s body appears, sometimes wrongly, to indicate their gender.

Transgender – a person that feels the assigned gender and sex at birth conflicts with their true gender.

Transsexual – a Transgender person who lives full-time in their true gender.

True Gender – the gender that a person truly feels they are inside.

End