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Black Lives Matter: BME Children in the UK Health and Social Care Systems

July 15, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

“Blacks Lives Matter”: The Experiences of Children from Black and Minority Communities in UK Health and Social Care: What Needs To Change?

About this Event

This “Black Lives Matter” pivotal moment provides a real opportunity to reflect on the various structural, systemic and cultural failings that help to promote or nurture racial inequality and discrimination in the UK health and social care sectors to the detriment of children and families from Black and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.

The social care sector has its own racism problem occurring in many ways. There is a disproportionate number of children from black families referred into the system, with a Child Protection Plan or with Care Orders. • In the health sector, anecdotal evidence and experience of unconscious bias during medical practitioners’ assessments, Child Protection examinations and other health delivery services are quite prevalent. Evidence shows that many children in foster care do not have positive outcomes. There is a pipeline of Black children and young people moving from the care system into the criminal justice system. AFRUCA service users complain about lack of cultural sensitivity in service provision with many experiencing discriminatory behaviours from practice staff. Our work shows users’ experiences of racism where their stories are not believed, statutory staff have treated them without respect, and excessive and disproportionate “punishments” that do not match the “crime” are deployed.

Many of our supported families at AFRUCA in child protection systems who are asylum seekers, have no recourse to public funds. This shows intersection between poverty in BAME communities, access to health-care and involvement in child protection.

This timely online event by AFRUCA – Safeguarding Children provides an opportunity for us in both the health and social care sectors to deliberate on the issue of equity, diversity and inclusion in policy, service delivery and practice. In the spirit of “Black Lives Matter”, it will provide some recommendations for policy-makers and service providers to help tackle discrimination in the sector, ensuring there is a framework to help address the equality and diversity failings in the system.

This is an online event holding on ZOOM. Personalised joining instructions will be sent to registered participants only.

Venue: Online Event on ZOOM

Date: Wednesday, 15 July 2020. Time: 14:00 to 16:00

Fee: Free event, donation optional

Event Chair: Gani Martins, Senior Social Work Specialist and Chair of AFRUCA – Safeguarding Children


• Dr Tsitsi Chawatama, Consultant Paediatrician, and Vice Chair AFRUCA Safeguarding Children (tbc)

• Joy Okoye: Barrister and Family Law Specialist

• Julie Heslop: Strategic Head of Early Help, Directorate of Children and Families, Manchester City Council

• Belinda Chideme: Head of Service, Safeguarding Children and Young People at Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust

• Dr Prospera Tedam: Honorary Visiting Fellow in Social Work, Anglia Ruskins University

• Janet Bola Latinwo: Principal Solicitor (Local Authority) and Child Protection Specialist

• Maureen Obi- Barrister, Mediator and EQ Workshop Facilitator

• Lauretta King-Webb: Social Worker at AFRUCA – Safeguarding Children

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