Posted June 23, 2020
I write to you all on a topic so close to our hearts which has been discussed more times than should ever be needed. We know change takes time, and some has happened. But much change is still needed.
Over the last few weeks, there have been many conversations and debates across Blue Sky about racism. It has come about because of people speaking up in protest in the USA following the horrendous death of George Floyd. These discussions have spread into the UK and Europe, rightly so. They have ensured that the impact of racism, on an individual and a systemic level, is acknowledged, considered and addressed across nations. We have been acutely aware of our children and young people, our families and our colleagues as we are all directly and indirectly impacted by racism.
At Blue Sky, we want all our children and young people, our families and our colleagues to work together to ensure children have a safe and happy childhood. However, we know that children and families from black, Asian and minority backgrounds face greater challenges in their childhoods and life chances. There are worrying inequalities in the proportions of children from BAME backgrounds in the care system, they are more likely to access mental health services early and have disproportionate levels of poverty and incarceration. And now evidence shows that Covid-19 is disproportionally impacting on those from the BAME community.
To address this inequity, we work hard directly with these children and families to provide a full range of opportunities and support into adulthood and beyond. We do this for all our children and families, but it is crucial for those who face racism.
Blue Sky stands with Black Lives Matter in their commitment to peacefully address and challenge inequities, unfairness and discrimination in all its subtle, indirect and sometimes direct forms. We commit to challenging negative behaviour and stereotypes and encouraging positive role models and portrayals of individuals and families on the BAME communities. We aim to make a positive difference to the lives of BAME children, families, foster carers and social workers. And we will continue to listen, learn and support the voices of our BAME friends, families and colleagues.
We all have questions – those of us who are older as well as our young people. It is important that we continue learning what this movement is teaching us. We strive to understand and empathise with those who face prejudice and inequality. We have put together a list of resources along with the attachment to help explain to your children and young people about the Black Lives Matter movement and what is happening in the news at the moment:
Racism has been present for Years. Decades. Centuries.
It is the responsibility of us all.
It must be Acknowledged. Challenged. Changed.
– Simon Lockyer