Inventory of Promising Practices
CATEGORY 9: EQUITY, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
Social work serves the needs of the community and needs to ensure that it is representative of the people that it serves. Enhancing EDI in social work practice, as well as ensuring services are accessible to all, will help enrich the profession, provide new lived experiences and perspectives, and create a more sustainable practice environment.
Addressing Anti-Black racism, Anti-Oppressive Practice, and EDI
Anti-Black racism addresses the policies and institutions that reinforce prejudices, beliefs, and practices that result in the systemic oppression of people of Black-African descent.
- “My BSW cohort, because it’s not quite so skill driven and because of the time, they were right and, [in] Black Lives Matter at the beginning of COVID, so that group was really cool in terms of social justice work and a lot of like systemic self-care work and what that looks like for folks and what that means for social work. So, it was also a very diverse group which was really cool, so we had folks that were First Nations in that group, we had a very fundamental Christian person in that group. It was just a really fascinating intersection and they had beautiful conversations.” (Interview Participant, Prairie Region)
- “I’m not in the field anymore, So, there really hasn’t been much that I can say about that, but in terms of the work that I have right now, and what I’m hearing from students and partners, and even faculty, or just around [university], is that the shift has been a little bit more focused on racism and anti-oppressive practice and diversity. Whether it’s really happening, it’s yet to be seen, but there seems to be more of a push for that, as well. (Unknown region)
- “When I was working on the Anti-Indigenous racism inquiry in BC, we were talking to healthcare workers and students, and one of the things that came up was that they might have an experience of somebody being racist towards them, but it might not be their supervisor, or it might be a patient and so we’re not looking at those dynamics and I think we need to look at it. The people we work with in social work aren’t necessarily at the top end of being psychologically healthy and so […] their pain and their anger gets expressed and […] sometimes the workers. If you’re the lowest person in terms of power, i.e. a student I think you’re more likely to have that experience. And if you’re not in an environment where you feel like you’ve got permission to talk about it than it just stays with you, and it eats away at you, and it gets in the way of that confidence building I was talking about that’s so important.” (Interview Participant, BC region)
Creating practicum opportunities that are situated in BIPOC organizations, diverse communities, and in languages other than French/English
Enhance equity, diversity, and inclusion in the practice of social work
- “As well, we’ve also been able to develop more of a partnership with agencies that offer culturally specific clinical type practicums. For students, this has been a success for us, because the students traditionally have expressed concerns around the lack of diversity in the type of options that are available to students.” (Interview participant, Ontario region)
- “Sometimes, you know, many of some students who identify with a particular community or a BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, People of Color] community, they find […] there’s less opportunity […]to be matched with an agency that serves specifically BIPOC community members. And as a result, they feel that there is a missing or missed learning opportunity for that experience.” (Interview participant, Ontario region)
Better representation to ensure space in organizations for BIPOC students, ensuring diverse representation on the field education committee, and representative hiring practices
Ensure that adequate representation of all community stakeholders is provided at macro-level decision making.
- “Lack that diversity at the decision-making table, other groups or other voices are not necessarily heard. And then, innocently, there are many missed opportunities in terms of growth.” (Interview participant, Ontario region)
- “Because if we want to ensure diversity and inclusion moving forward for our students and for our partnering agencies, it’s important that diverse representation is made available at the decisioning tables.” (Interview participant, Ontario region)
- “When we look at diversity, integrating diverse perspectives, such as immigrant and newcomer perspectives. I think the international aspect is one that’s lost some, […]and I think we need to bring that back and really think about how do we collaborate internationally? How do we learn from one another at that macro space? I think is very important. So, those are some areas that I’d like to see some more action on, like in the next few years.” (Interview Participant, Prairie Region)