- Black Children's Lives Matter
Black Children’s Lives Matter (BCLM)
The Nagalro BCLM sub-group was set up in 2020 to look specifically at the difficulties facing Black* children with whom Nagalro members are involved because they make up a disproportionate proportion of children placed in the Local Authority care system*. The Group comprises Nagalro council members who are governed by the Nagalro Articles of Association and who adhere to Nagalro Policy papers agreed by Nagalro Council including the Nagalro Equality and Diversity Policy. There is a dedicated page on the Nagalro website called the BCLM page and there is a specific BCLM logo (see above). Nagalro’s website BCLM page contains resources and articles of interest to raise awareness of the issues affecting Black children. Proposals by the BCLM sub-group relating to potential campaigns will be discussed and approved by Nagalro Council.
The main aims and objectives of the Nagalro Articles of Association include:
- To promote and enhance the quality of practice of those concerned with the independent representation of children's interests before the Courts throughout England and Wales.
- To provide services to Members which meet the specific needs of those operating in this sphere of work; and
- To provide a forum to influence social policy to the benefit of children.
The BCLM group aims:
- To promote high standards of social work practice to meet Black children’s needs.
- To ensure that Black children’s voices are heard.
- To influence social policy for the benefit of Black children.
- To build professional knowledge amongst Nagalro members about the racism that may be faced by Black children.
- To commit to working against any practice in social work which discriminates against the needs of Black children.
- To support individual Nagalro members who work with children who have experienced racism and discrimination.
- To raise awareness of the needs of Black children through its educative resources, publications, conferences, website and training programmes.
01 April 2021
* The group considered terminology with the understanding that there is little consensus about which term is the most acceptable. The term BAME is not an accepted term. Therefore, the group has agreed to use the term ‘black’ which is an inclusive term and is used here to denote all black people who experience racism on the basis of the colour of their skin.”
*see data published in November 2020 from Government website Adopted and looked-after children - GOV.UK Ethnicity facts and figures (ethnicity-facts-figures.service.gov.uk)
There can be no conceivable justification for the killing, by slow asphyxia, of George Floyd, who was handcuffed at the time of his death on 25 May 2020. The protests across the world reflect the huge anger and injustice felt by people and reminds us all that racism is not isolated to a single jurisdiction and that its roots run deep in societies and institutions everywhere. Many Nagalro members are Black[i] and (and there are many) have experienced racism directly or indirectly. Our members from all backgrounds will have identified with the Black Lives Matter movement at a personal level. Although racism directly affects Black people directly and indirectly, it blights the whole of society and we all have a role to play in eradicating it. Everyone from nations and communities the world over has been deeply affected by this horrific event, and the impact of their response has been uplifting.
Nagalro does not hesitate to make clear its active support for all Black people across the globe in their fight against racism. In making such commitment we acknowledge both the pain of racism and the work necessary to eradicate it. The challenge for all those from the white majority culture, is to actively question and challenge a system of unchecked inbuilt privilege, and to bring about positive change for families in all our communities.
Nagalro recognises its role in eradicating racism and that words alone will not suffice where action is required. Nagalro reaffirms its commitment to anti-racist practice and we pledge to purposefully identify, debate and challenge issues of racism and the impact racism has on our association and the people we serve. We will challenge ourselves to understand and correct any inequities that exist and gain a better understanding of ourselves during this purposeful process.
Nagalro promotes high standards of professional practice in social work. Our members work with children who have experienced abuse and discrimination in many forms including racism. We will support our members who are instrumental in ensuring children’s voices are heard at a crucial time when decisions are made that have lifelong implications for them.
Nagalro has already developed equal opportunities policies to confront the inequalities that may exist within Nagalro and in its dealings with its members and other organisations. We will further develop anti-racist policies and update them regularly to meet the developing needs of our members. Most importantly, Nagalro will work to ensure that the voices of Black children must be heard in decision-making. Nagalro will work to raise awareness of the particular needs of Black children through its educative resources, via its publications, training programs and conferences.
Nagalro is currently campaigning to reinstate consideration of a child's race, religion and culture when considering placement for adoption. This legal requirement was removed in England when section 1(5) of the Adoption and Children Act 2002 was repealed by the Children and Families act 2014. It is our view that however well-intentioned this reform may have been, it remains the wrong solution. It is at risk of being a 'colour-blind' solution which has not addressed the root causes of the problem, which are many. We hope to promote discussion and change with this campaign, and with our conference taking place on 4 October 2021 - Black Children's Lives Matter - How Can You better serve Them? we welcome contributions, resources and comments .
[i] The term Black is a political term which is an inclusive term and is used here to denote all black people who experience racism on the basis of the colour of their skin.
- 30 books to help you talk to children about racism: https://bit.ly/38uoytK
- Little Leaders Books including 'Bold Women in Black History' and 'Bold Men in Black History'by Vashti Harrison
- 'Superheroes Are Everywhere'. Author Kamala Harris and Mechal Renee Roe (illustrator). Published 14-01-2021 by Philomel. ISBN: 9780241528105
Click here for more book suggestions.
Help and advice
- Black Minds Matter: An organisation to enable as many black people, to get specialised help. They aim to fulfil this by connecting black individuals and families with professional mental health services across the U.K: https://bit.ly/38aL3DR
- Churchill Fellowship Report on FGM by Astrid Fairclough /faircloughfinal_0.pdf
Charities and funds
Black Fine Funds UK is an initiative to reimburse Black people in the UK who have been fined for alleged breaches of Covid-19 restrictions: https://bit.l/3hu2d3F
Black History Month
- Black, Queer & Proud
- Black Girl Magic
- Galdem - Queens
- These 10 Emerging Black Artists Are the Future of Figurative Painting by Isis Davis-Marks. Click here to download
Some interesting books:
On-line resources/podcasts and audiobooks