Wandsworth Council pilot scheme to encourage diversity in social care

Wandsworth Council has been selected to help pilot a new scheme to improve the diversity of senior staff in adults and children’s social care.

The borough will become one of the first to take part and help develop a new national Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES).

The introduction of the scheme follows a report last year from Skills for Care, a charity which helps recruit, develop, and lead social care staff revealing that although black, Asian and minority ethnic staff form a large amount of the social care workforce, this range of diversity was not presented in senior management roles in the industry.

Cabinet member for adult social care and health, Councillor Clare Salier said: “It is vital that the people leading our adult social care teams reflect the rest of the staff, clients and the residents of the borough as a whole.

“We want our workforce to be diverse, and to know that, if you have the talent and drive to succeed, you will be supported to develop your career.”

Wandsworth will become one of 18 boroughs involved in developing and reviewing policies relating to race and diversity, practice and procedures, including recruitment and selection, professional development opportunities and support with progression.

This will result in new practice and guidance tools ensuring there is a more diverse workforce with under-represented groups being able to fulfil their potential and develop in social care.

Cabinet member for education and children’s services, Councillor Will Sweet said: “The aim of this pilot scheme is to take a good look at our policies and understand any barriers to greater diversity.”

He added: “Ultimately it will help lead the way for other councils so that vulnerable children can benefit from the very best care.”

Back in 2017, the Adult Principal Social Worker Network (APSWN) published a report ‘Who is leading the way?’.

The enquiry was linked to the diversity of adult care leadership in local authorities and the APSWN itself.

It found that the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups was minimal and clearly did not reflect the diversity of the social care workforce.

Charlie Masson-Smith, chief press officer for Wandsworth council said: “We already have a diverse workforce within Adult Social Care, with 44% BAME staff, compared to 30% BAME population in the borough and there is a good proportion of BAME staff in management posts (36% in management and 25% in senior management).

“But we hope to share good practice with other Local Authorities through this pilot and build on this work to make continuous improvement in our diversity.”

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