Based on the Pledge developed by the In-Service Training Team and the Culturally Responsive Practice Committee.
The California Social Work Education Center (CalSWEC) recognizes the existence of deep systemic racism in this country. We acknowledge that the child welfare system in particular has racist origins and has caused enormous harm to Indigenous, Black, and other marginalized communities. Children and families from these communities have consistently been and continue to be overrepresented in the child welfare system. This single fact is all the evidence necessary to understand that implicit bias and explicit racism continue to function within the child welfare system.
We have created the following pledge to address anti-racism in our work. First, we will focus internally as a team, then as a campus unit in the School of Social Welfare to begin rooting out racism from our own organization in order to become part of the larger solution. We commit to sustained work toward racial equity throughout the statewide training system. Our long-term goals are: to eliminate the racial disparities within the child welfare population; to prevent further harm from racist policies; and to protect children, families, and communities by transforming the child welfare system from one of control and policing to one of healing and connection.
In the interest of these goals, we pledge to pursue the following actions as a first, long-overdue, step in this direction.
We will do the necessary work to become anti-racist leaders. We will take the first steps towards this goal by participating in training such as Belonging and Building a Bigger We. We will examine our own internal biases and address them and their effect on our work. We will cultivate the courage to speak up and directly address racism in all areas of our work, and create a process for staff to address issues and raise concerns. We will lead ongoing internal and external conversations about race and racism so that we are better equipped to address racism in our everyday practice. We will consult with and listen to groups affected by racism, and adopt their suggestions for improvement. We will share anti-racism resources related to social welfare on our website and throughout our network of stakeholders.
We will recruit and work with a more diverse group of staff and external contractors. This includes a more robust recruitment and outreach process when hiring for internal positions, and when posting Requests For Proposals. We will strengthen our relationships with campus groups working on anti-racism, and incorporate innovative ways to include more perspectives in our curriculum development and review processes. We will work with other child-serving systems to incorporate anti-racism training within the topic areas of the Integrated Training Guide for California’s System of Care for Children and Youth. We will organize and facilitate statewide anti-racism quarterly meetings on an ongoing basis to share resources within the training system, bring in external resources and experts, and allow time for discussion and solution-oriented conversation.
We are committed to improving the curriculum development process so that social workers are better prepared to practice anti-racism during their careers in human services. This includes vigorous examination and improvement of the processes for writing, reviewing,and evaluating statewide curricula, as well as the design and implementation of training for trainers. We will seek out and incorporate innovations, best practices, and resources developed by other agencies and work in partnership with anti-racism experts.
We undertake these efforts with humility and curiosity.
We commit to keeping this pledge alive and evolving as we learn and grow.
Events and Tools
- Quarterly Anti-Racism Meetings – November 17, 2021 (Meeting notes available soon)
- Orientation to the Culturally Responsive Behaviors Assessment and Development Tool (recording)
- Culturally Responsive Practice Skill Sessions: December 2021 (recording)
- Culturally-Effective Practice toolkit
- Race Equity Crosswalk Tool
- Intersectionality in Child Welfare
- What We Get Wrong About Closing the Racial Wealth Gap
- Race Matter. A guide to assist leaders in supporting and engaging with their staff on matters of race
- Race Matters Resource Lists
- Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) at UC Berkeley
- Executive Order 13985. Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government. January 2021.
- National Conference of State Legislatures. Disproportionality and Race Equity in Child Welfare. January 2021.
- Public Health Institute. Policy Memo: Advancing Racial Equity in California State Government. July 2020
- American Bar Association. Race and Poverty in the Child Welfare System: Strategies for Child Welfare Practitioners. December 2019.
- The Annals of the American Academy. Racial Disproportionality and Disparities in the Child Welfare System: Why Do They Exist, and What Can Be Done to Address Them? November, 2020.
Did we miss something?
If you’d like to suggest relevant resources in the list above, please contact us via the CalSWEC Contact Form.