Policy Press

Publishing with a purpose

Tackling institutional racism

Anti-racist policies and social work education and training

By Laura Penketh

Published

11 Oct 2000

Page count

160 pages

ISBN

978-1861341815

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
Tackling institutional racism

The publication of the Inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence emphasised the institutionally racist nature of British society. Public bodies and welfare institutions are having to face the consequences of racism within their organisations. This task should draw on the earlier experience of the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work's (CCETSW) anti-racist agenda, whose initiative came under attack from government ministers, media commentators and sections of the social work profession.

This book describes and analyses the development of anti-racist social work education and training and moves on to a broader debate:

it critically assesses the concept of 'race', the historical development and maintenance of racism in contemporary British society, exploring 'race-related' legislation and its theoretical underpinnings;

it offers an historical exploration of the role of social work and its relationship with, and response to, the needs of deprived and marginalised communities;

it provides an assessment of the backlash against CCETSW's anti-racist developments from politicians, the media and sections of the social work profession, incorporating a debate regarding charges of political correctness.

Issues such as 'political correctness' and 'identity politics' are critically explored, and the implications of these political processes on the anti-racist policy agenda are assessed. The analysis reflects on both the possibilities and limitations placed on establishing anti-racist policies.

Tackling institutional racism will be of particular interest to Diploma in Social Work students, social work practitioners and academics, social policy undergraduates and postgraduates. It should also be read by professionals at different levels in the policy-making process, particularly those working directly with, acting on behalf of, or pursuing, the interests of the black community. 

"A balanced and lucid analysis." Community care

"A lively and informative book that deserves a firm place in the social work library". Journal of Social Policy

"... an impressive and detailed account of the struggle for anti-racist social work education throughout the late 80s and 90s." Critical Social Policy

"...a valuable contribution to the field. The book's strength is in the general readibility, which makes some of the complex issues concerning institutional racism accessible to the reader. It will be particularly useful for Diploma in Social Work students or those approaching the subject for the first time as well as professional social work educators and trainers ... deserves a wider audience than just those who are engaged with social work training and education." British Journal of Social Work

"A valuable contribution to the field. The book's strength is in the general readibility, which makes some of the complex issues concerning institutional racism accessible to the reader. ....it will be particularly useful for Diploma in Social Work students or those approaching the subject for the first time as well as professional social work educators and trainers...deserves a wider audience than just those who are engaged with social work training and education. " British Journal of Social Work

"Drawing on anti-racist developments within British social work, this richly informed book more generally highlights the range of issues and problems which need to be considered and confronted if we are serious in our endeavour to eradicate institutional racism." Chris Jones

Laura Penketh is based at the Department of Social Work, University of Lancaster.

Introduction; 'Race' and racism in modern Britain; Social work, the state and society; CCETSW's anti-racist initiative; Research findings and the implementation of Paper 30; Implementing anti-racist learning requirements - the student/practice teacher relationship; Practice teachers and anti-racist social work practice; Backlash against CCETSW'S anti-racist initiative; Conclusion and recommendations.