3 July 2023
VCF calls for culturally competent practice across all children’s services
VCF – The Victoria Climbié Foundation UK is on a mission to work with professionals across children’s services; to address significant discrimination issues as part of its overarching campaign to improve child protection policies and practice.
Despite multiple reviews from Macpherson (1999) to Casey (2023), reported findings of institutional racism have yet to be acted upon in a meaningful way. We need to look no further than the delays in the Windrush compensation scheme and for the community impacted by the Grenfell Tower fire, for more recent examples.
Following the recent publication of a report by Dame Louise Casey, neither the Metropolitan Police Commissioner nor the Children’s Commissioner have fully accepted the report findings or advocated for institutional change, which in spite of the overwhelming evidence is shocking and intolerable for families from black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. Many have been involved in child safeguarding processes that have failed to appropriately assess risks, or consider support needs for their children.
Our response is to deliver a series of online training workshops for professionals working in formal or informal societal systems, in collaboration with the New African Families Service National and International Network (NAFSNIN).
‘Working from a culturally competent perspective’ is a pre-requisite for all other VCF training within a specialist learning programme across cultures and faiths.
Analysis of interactive workshops held during March/April 2023 demonstrate the need for such training across services, as delegates shared their personal and professional views.
“Can’t emphasise how important and valuable this training is. Please share on to get it to the hands of the relevant services. I am writing this whilst attending the first hour. Could safely say very unique and can be implemented across the UK and internationally. Value for money for anyone working with children individually or as an organisation”
Delegate, cultural competency workshop, March 2023
“I’ve used the words ‘being oppressed’ in the past but this was real life stuff”
Delegate, cultural competency workshop, April 2023
Until professionals across all children’s services can demonstrate a willingness to understand what it means to be culturally competent, and to share the learning at organisational level or within their communities, we will continue to see disproportionality in practice.
‘Change management’ strategies will not work without consultation and vital engagement of local communities, and is now a call for action!