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We stand against racism and oppression in all its forms – black lives matter

The role of social work and regulation in tackling inequality, living our values and taking action.

We stand against racism and oppression in all its forms – black lives matter

6/8/2020 3:00:00 PM

Social Work England stands against racism and oppression in all its forms.

Following the tragic death of George Floyd in the US,and the wave of pain and anger that followed, last week we published a very personal reflection from our regional engagement lead for Yorkshire and the Humber, Ahmina Akhtar. We have taken time as an organisation to digest and reflect.

The Black Lives Matter movement has prompted us all to reflect on racism, on the role of social work in tackling inequality and on the values that we uphold at Social Work England - social justice, human rights, shared responsibility, and respect.

Social workers are central to the action we need to take to address the prejudice we see in society. Our professional standards reflect the value and diversity of social work practice and the positive impact it has on people’s lives. Standard 1.5 highlights that social workers must 'recognise differences across diverse communities and challenge the impact of disadvantage and discrimination on people and their families and communities'.

As a specialist regulator at the heart of the profession, we understand that many social workers will be feeling personal hurt. Social workers from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds will have faced racism directly and indirectly both in their personal and professional lives. For those social workers, the Black Lives Matter movement will feel incredibly personal.

We accept that to be part of the solution, we must tackle racism through our approach to regulation and with social workers as they provide vital support to some of the most vulnerable people in society.

It is important as an organisation that we respond in the right way. We are actively working on making positive change through the development of our equality, diversity and inclusion strategy, our approach to recruitment and through our national advisory forum, and we will continue to listen and share the outcomes with you. We also want to thank our colleagues for sharing their personal experiences with us and for holding us to account as we grow.

Our thoughts are with George Floyd’s loved ones and with everyone who has been impacted by racism, prejudice and the invisible structures in society that perpetuate inequality.

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