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New research addresses racism in social work

New research commissioned by the anti-racist steering group explores the experiences and perspectives of nearly 2000 social workers relating to racism.

New research addresses racism in social work

3/18/2022 9:38:24 AM

New research commissioned by the anti-racist steering group explores the experiences and perspectives of nearly 2000 social workers relating to racism. The group is made up of representatives from the Principal Social Workers’ Network for Adults and Children and Families, Social Work England, Office of the Chief Social Workers, and What Works for Children’s Social Care.

The study highlights the toll racism is taking on social workers in England with 10% of respondents considering leaving their organisation as a result of racism, and 8% considering leaving social work entirely. The findings and recommendations from this survey will be used by the steering group to create an action plan to address racism within the profession.

Building on their own recently published equality, diversity and inclusion action plan, Social Work England will also use the findings to inform their work. This is in line with its commitment to putting equality, diversity and inclusion at the heart of its next corporate strategy.

Social Work England’s support for the survey comes following significant progress in other areas of work, including gathering data to better understand the make up of the social work profession; a review of internal processes in fitness to practise to ensure they do not disproportionally impact people from certain backgrounds; and targeted recruitment drives to improve the diversity of its workforce.

Ahmina Akhtar, head of equality, diversity and inclusion at Social Work England said: “The work by the anti-racist steering group is really welcome. We know anecdotally that there’s a perceived lack of leadership and progression for individuals from Black, Asian, and ethnic minority backgrounds and this research confirms this. We are committed to working alongside others from across the profession to build on the recommendations in the report.”

Sarah Blackmore, executive director of strategy, policy and engagement at Social Work England said: “We have actively supported the aims of the research created by the anti-racist steering group alongside our partners. We are considering the results as part of our work to develop our next corporate strategy including developments across the social work profession, and we look forward to further collaboration and dialogue to effect some of the positive change needed.”

Social Work England is asking all social workers to complete the diversity data in their online account. In doing so, it will help to build a clearer understanding of the make-up of the register and ensure that our policies and processes are fair for everyone regardless of their background.

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