Summary and Introduction

Name of Local Authority London Borough of Bexley
Senior Director responsible for the SCWRES (sponsor) Stephen Kitchman, Director of Children’s Service
Stuart Rowbotham, Director of Adult Social Care and Health
LA Programme Lead Lorraine Harker, Manager, Programme Management Office
Staff Voice Lead Oyeyinka Olaniran, Chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E.) workers group
Number of (direct) employees 425 employees across Adult Social Care and Children’s Social Care

Summary of how this action plan has been agreed (signed off) and how it will be monitored, reviewed and outcomes evaluated

The WRES Action Plan has been agreed through the WRES Steering Group and the Corporate Leadership Team and will be reviewed with the relevant lead Members.

Progress on the Action Plan will be monitored through the WRES Steering Group on a monthly basis.

Introduction by Senior Sponsors

The London Borough of Bexley welcomed the opportunity to join the 17 other local authorities piloting the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) for Social Care, which aims to overcome inequality in the social work workforce and develop a consistent and effective approach across both adult and children’s social care.

On its launch Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families commented that ‘all social workers deserve to feel respected and empowered to pursue careers to their full potential, regardless of ethnicity’ and we endorse this.

The people we serve in social care include our diverse local population with different languages, religions, ethnicities, social classes, genders, sexualities and disabilities - understanding and appreciating this diversity is essential to our workers so we must ensure we continue to recruit, promote, reward, develop and retain a diverse workforce that is representative of those we support.

We were keen to understand and respond to the outcomes of the nine metrics and to share the experiences of our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic workers in their working lives in Bexley. We were committed to ensuring that our action plan was co-produced and want to ensure it leads to the eradication of inequality in Bexley.

Stephen Kitchman
Director of Children's Services

Stuart Rowbotham
Director of Adult Social Care and Health

Introduction by Staff Voice Lead

There are many different races, faiths and cultural practices in Britain today. We are a fast-growing and developing diverse society which gives us the opportunity for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities to exchange ideas and support each other on a committed networking platform.

The partnership, contribution and involvement that the B.A.M.E. Network had in piloting the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) for Social Care in Bexley, is a testament that we all want change by creating a work environment that promotes equality and equity for everyone in Bexley. We are keen to engage with anyone who can help us work towards the changes we all look forward to, in Bexley and our society at large.

We are here to facilitate networks, collaboration and partnerships that enables better communication within the Council. We aim to work together to share and advocate best practice, with the ultimate goal of harnessing support across the workplace in Bexley and within the community. We believe that the contribution of various diversity groups establishes a nation, builds dynamic local communities and promotes our well-being leading to better productivity. We hope that the outcomes and actions from this pilot help us move in the right direction as we all commit to its implementation and success.

Oyeyinka Olaniran
Chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (B.A.M.E.) workers group