Statement on racism and injustice in society

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As people around the world protest against racism and injustice in society, the staff and trustees of The Fostering Network stand with them and add our voices to theirs, condemning racism and prejudice in all its forms.

As an organisation striving to make foster care the very best it can be and challenging the stigma associated with care, we are aware that many children and young people in foster care, the families caring for them, the social workers supporting them and our own staff are affected by the deep-rooted inequality and prejudice that exists in the UK. Children from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities are often the most impacted by the effects of structural inequality - that they are disproportionately affected by poverty, are over-represented in the care system, and that they often experience poorer life chances. This is unacceptable and must come to an end. Indeed, without it coming to an end, making foster care the very best it can be is an impossibility.

The last few weeks have caused us, as an organisation, to pause and think about whether these are issues about which we have taken enough action in the past and how we can affect more positive change in the future. To think about how we can, and must, do better to be a charity that is committed internally and externally to equality and diversity in word and action. To think about how we can increasingly play our part in being an instrument for change in tackling the unacceptable racism in our society – and especially when these impact on fostering. To think about the partnerships we need to form to tackle the structural inequalities that perpetuate injustice and which result in children from the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities being disproportionately in care.

We know we cannot allow the killing of George Floyd – and the #BlackLivesMatter campaign – to leave us unchanged as individuals and as an organisation. Fostering is a vital part of our society and has a significant impact on the lives of thousands of children and young people, their families and the families that foster, and we are committed to do more to promote equality, inclusion and fairness within our organisation and fostering.