Is Coronavirus the disease of racism?

What has been the most defining moment of the last six months for you?

Perhaps it is the recollection of sitting on your sofa in March watching the recorded message from the Prime Minister informing us that we should remain inside our houses unless absolutely necessary. Or maybe it was those community-defining moments at 8pm on Thursday evenings where we took our pots, pans, applause and gratitude to our incredible NHS and frontline workers onto our doorsteps. Or perhaps it was the arrival of the square cuttings of fabric that now cover our mouths and noses, some patterned, others more pragmatic; previously uncommon but now widespread. Whatever sticks out in your mind, it is fair to say there are many contenders.

But within the pandemic of the last six months, we have also seen growing attention and indignation about the existence of another pandemic that has been enduring and widespread for much longer...

The killing of George Floyd catalysed a movement within a worldwide moment that called time to the little-acknowledged persistence of racism. In the weeks and months that have followed, the pervasiveness of systemic racism has been exposed in all corners of society: from educational disadvantage to health inequality to prejudicial profiling and much more. In response, many individuals and organisations have made a commitment to listen and learn with renewed intentionality, recognising all the while that promises need to be accompanied by actions.

I have the privilege of working for Home for Good, a fostering and adoption charity in the UK that seeks to find a great home for every child who needs one. While the Black Lives Matter movement really erupted in May this year, Home for Good has for some time recognised the existence of entrenched racial disparity within our own field of work. Our campaign ‘Change His Future’, launched in October 2019, sought to raise awareness of the reality that Black children are disproportionately represented and disadvantaged within the care system in England. It is our conviction that while this problem is complex, enduring and unacceptable, targeted action holds the opportunity to bring change and ultimately alter the course of these children’s lives.

 

Home for Good childResearch has shown that Black children are twenty times more likely than Asian children to be in care while white children were ten times more likely. Among 16 and 17-year olds, 1 in 30 of Black Caribbean young people are in care, compared with just 1 in 100 white young people.

This inequality also reaches into adoption as not only do Black children wait longer for an adoptive home, but they are significantly less likely to go on to be adopted at all compared to children from other backgrounds.

 

While the reasons behind this inequality are complex, it is unacceptable that Black children continue to be disadvantaged in this way, with steps taken thus far failing to bring about change that is anywhere close to being satisfactory.

We passionately believe that no child should have to wait longer to find the stability and loving home they need, simply because of the colour of their skin. Racial inequality has persisted and remained entrenched in the care system for too long. We recognise the need for radical action to be taken quickly.

The Government has committed to undertaking a comprehensive, radical and independent review of the care system in England and we recognise this as a key opportunity to interrogate this issue in a meaningful way and bring about change in the system. We are calling for the significant issue of racial disparity within the care system to be made a central theme of this review.

 

Would you stand with us in calling for change for vulnerable Black children in our care system?

You can stand with us by:

  1. Writing to your MP. You can contact your MP quickly and easily through our website and we have provided a template you can amend to raise this specific issue with them. Just visit here.
  2. Raising awareness on social media and with your networks. We have an inspiring video as part of our Change His Future campaign that we would love you to share as widely as possible. Don’t forget to use our hashtag #ChangeHisFuture and tag us @Home4Gd. To watch the video and for more information on our campaign, please visit our webpage here.

 

Your prayers and support make a difference. Thank you for standing with us.

 

Natalie Mills

Political Advocacy Manager, Home for Good

@nhunter_93 @home4gd

Home for Good Logo
APPG for Adoption and Permanence
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