SASW is focusing on how to ensure our support to members is relevant to them, whatever their identity or background.
We aim to develop structures which confront all forms of discrimination and reflect our commitment to the core values of social work.
We strive to work towards ending racism, discrimination and oppression and promoting human rights for social workers at every stage of their careers and for people who use social work services.
In July 2021, we launched our report, "Racism in Scottish Social Work: a 2021 snapshot." It found that:
- Racism exists within social work in Scotland, in both employment and education settings, from colleagues, managers and people who use services
- The impact of racism on social workers from BAME backgrounds is significant
- When racism is reported it is rarely dealt with in a satisfactory way
- Racism experienced within social work is harmful, both to individuals and to the profession
Read the full report on the link below.
We worked closely with our Anti-Racism Advisory Group (ARAG) to address the concerns raised in the report and in April 2022 published our Anti-Racism Action Plan.
The plan sets out actions which will help us fulfil our commitment to promote anti-racism in social work. It will help us challenge both our own and others’ perceptions, drawing on the accounts of those who have experienced racism. Read more here.
View the full action plan on the link below.
I think SASW can be a key voice in challenging discrimination.
In March 2023, we held an online roundtable as part of World Social Work Month to explore actions to address racism in Social Work.
The event featured a Panel of contributors from a range of organisations across the sector in Scotland, including the Office of the Chief Social Work Adviser to Scottish Government, Social Work Scotland, the Higher Education Institute's Anti-Racism Network, the SSSC and the Social Work Education Partnership.
The panel highlighted what they are doing in their respective organisations to promote anti-racism. This was followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and reflect on what key actions are necessary to embed anti-racism in the profession.
In June 2023, we held an event in collaboration with Scottish Government's Leading To Change programme, to highlight appropriate responses to racism in the workplace. We are compiling a resource pack as a result of this event, which will be available shortly.
"Let's Talk Social Work" Podcast Series
BASW’s ‘Let’s Talk Social Work’ Podcast series is a space for conversation – discussion with social workers, the individuals they support, and colleagues working in related professions. There are several episodes which focus on EDI issues.
"When Asylum Seekers are white: Media Eurocentrism and Racism within Refugee Discourses" - read this guest blog by Renite Gosal, here
Leading to Change feature a Diversity Blog Series on their website, exploring key issues and how to address them, with contributions from members of SASW's Anti-Racism Advisory Group and others. Read them here.
If you would like to write a guest blog for us on any EDI issues please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Useful Resources from around the UK
My Black History - Black and Proud - Laura, a social worker based in Scotland, reflects on her experiences of racism in practice in this article requested by the Local Authority that she works for.
LGBTI Manifesto - a joint manifesto from LGBT Youth Scotland, Stonewall Scotland and Scottish Trans. Get in touch here to find out more about SASW's work on progressing the Asks, or to get involved yourself.
White voices on white privilege - PSW Online
How to promote an anti-racist culture in social work - Community Care.
Black Lives Matter: A position statement - BASW UK.
"Proud Roma" by Pablo Vega. The film is a great start to understanding the history and culture of Romani people, including Welsh and English Gypsies who are Romani and descendants of the first Romani people to leave India over a 1000 years ago on the migration into the UK, as well as the rest of the world.
Child Q and Anti-Racist Safegaurding. BASW's Anti-Racism Lead, Shantel Thomas responds to the strip search of a 15-year-old girl by the Metropolitan Police.
BASW UK Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group
BASW’s EDI Advisory Group is a group of members from across the four nations, who meet together regularly to advise BASW Council on progress with meeting EDI targets. The work we are doing here in Scotland is informed by the views of this group.
We would welcome new members for our Anti-Racism Advisory Group. It is important that the voice of Scottish members is included in this important work.