In February 2021, Sukriti Sen (Director Local Delivery Mid) reached out to BAME members of the Children and Families Leadership Team at Essex County Council, to discuss setting up a group to ensure that we build momentum in Essex on the work that had begun since the murder of George Floyd around the anti- racism and anti-racist practice (ARP) agenda.
Here’s Kiran’s (Service Manager) blog regarding her involvement. A really interesting and insightful read. Thank you for sharing this with us.
The BAME members of the Children and Families Leadership Team subsequently developed into the Anti- Racist Practice Group and have met on a bi-monthly basis to keep the momentum of the work and discussions on the impact of racism alive.
The key focus of the group has been:
- Why do we want to see change?
- What change do we want to see?
- How do we get there?
- Who else do we ned help / support from?
Recognising the importance of the agenda and the amount of work that needed to be done , at a strategic as well as operational level, the group soon began work on recruiting a full time ARP Service Manager post. This began in July 2021 and since that time a Business case has been developed, support has been given from FLT as well as funding agreement from the Essex County Council’s Transformation Board. The post is currently in recruitment and a steering group and terms of reference is being drafted.
As well as the development of the ARP SM post the Anti-Racist Practice Group have continued to meet and had an away day in September 2021. They function as a support group for the BAME Senior Managers across C&F’s as well as driving forward key strategic and practice issues. Other areas of focus include:
- Ensuring festivals such as Eid and Diwali are celebrated with our C&Fs
- Working to ensure that the needs of Black young people in care have their needs met in an appropriate and timely way.
- Improving the gathering and recording information on ethnicity and religion is captured on the data base and used in decision making in various practice and strategic groups.
- Ensure there is access to appropriate management training for BAME managers
- Blogs, training and support on the ARP agenda in a variety of settings.
- Setting up BAME support C&Fs Groups in quadrants.
- Embedding and ensuring there is an understanding of the Leading In Colour Agenda across Essex.
The group has gone from strength to strength and will now be further supported by the full time resource to further drive forward this key agenda for Essex Children and Families.
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