Action for Children’s statement of intent on race equity

Friday 05 February 2021

Action for Children is committed to playing its part in dismantling systemic and institutional racism

Our vision is that every child and young person in the country has a safe and happy childhood and the foundations they need to thrive through our mission, providing practical and emotional care and support, ensuring their voices are heard and campaigning to bring lasting improvements to their lives. Our workforce must be representative of the communities we serve as well as our service users in terms of how we better understand and support their needs. Also, we must provide a voice to those on whose behalf we campaign.

Structural racism is the collective failure of an organisation to provide the same service or opportunities to people, within the organisation and outside, regardless of their colour, culture or ethnic origin. No organisation, including Action for Children, is immune from structural racism.

Since publishing our Statement of Solidarity in June 2020, we have been working through what more we need to do to prioritise anti-racist principles - both within Action for Children and in the communities, in which we work. Too often, the emphasis is on Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff to drive change within an organisation but it is the responsibility of all of us to understand systemic racism and lead change.

Breakthrough is our network for Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff and volunteers and allies. Our Executive Leadership team has been talking regularly with our Breakthrough network and developing a further understanding of how we can be truly anti-racist in all our policies, practices and structures. Building on the discussions and insights we have gathered over the past few months, we have developed our anti-racist action plan which is based upon the ACEVO Home Truths publication. This plan has the full support of our Executive Leadership Team and our Board of Trustees. It sets out actions that will sit behind our commitment to be an anti-racist organisation.

We have introduced training on Understanding Bias in decision-making as well as Inclusive Leadership and have diversity and inclusion built into our latest induction welcome sessions for our new starters.

We have developed initiatives to help ensure Black, Asian and minority ethnic staff are not disadvantaged through recruitment processes and have held conversations around race and ethnicity in our regular ‘Solidarity Hours’. Also, in October we held an organisational webinar on how colleagues can be anti-racist in their day-to-day work and avoid being passive on racism. But this is just a start and we have more to do. Our progress will be monitored by our Board of Trustees

We know and support our staff and volunteers who may choose to identify themselves in different ways, including as Black, Brown, Black, Asian and minority ethnic, and as ‘people of colour’. We are continuing to engage with members of our Breakthrough Network on how we can best support and represent racial individuality with regards to staff, volunteers and the children, young people and families with whom we work.

We want to ensure anti-racist principles and practices are woven into everything we do and we want to leverage our experience in enabling children, young people and families to have their voices heard.