The following appointments were made:
- Khalid Mahmood MP (Labour), Chair
- Gary Sambrook MP (Conservative), Vice Chair
- Virendra Sharma MP (Labour), Vice Chair
- John Spellar MP, (Labour), Vice Chair
- Saqib Bhatti MP (Conservative), Treasurer
- Marsha de Cordova MP (Labour), Member
- Afzal Khan MP (Labour), Member
embraceEDI was appointed as the APPG secretariat.
APPG Work Programme
The following work programme was agreed.
Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England by Josh MacAlister
The first interim report into the review of children’s social has been published. The report, entitled Case for Change, provides an outline of what the review has heard so far and where they feel the system needs to change.
However, do children social care leads feel actively engaged in the process and are able to contribute in a meaningful way? Furthermore, are there any emerging themes that should be included?
The APPG would like to ensure that the consultation process is sufficiently robust enough to consider all the key themes.
We would like to invite Josh MacAlister to a future APPG meeting so that he can hear first-hand about some of the issues that are of concern to EDI leads. There has already been concerns raised around the lack of engagement with the fostering sector with low numbers of foster carers involved and no fostering specialist representation on review groups.
With concerns nationally around a variety of issues relating to children involved in drugs and county lines; their early sexualisation; and high rates of black teenagers involved in the youth criminal justice system we will seek to ensure that this review addresses EDI right at its heart.
The APPG will ensure that we act as a channel for the voices that work with these vulnerable children.
BAME Inequalities in Foster Care
Two-thirds of councils in England have a shortage of black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) foster carers, according to historic Ofsted official figures. The APPG will seek an update on how this matter has been progressed since the publication of the report in 2019.
Previously analysed figures from Ofsted, as of 31 March 2019, stated there were 54,870 children in foster care in England – 76% were white, 23% were black, Asian or minority ethnic.
The analysis found 99 authorities – 68% of the 146 – had a shortage or undersupply of foster carers from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background. Local Authorities were deemed to have an undersupply when the gap between the percentage of carers and percentage of foster children who were black, Asian or minority ethnic was bigger than five, and they had at least 15 children in foster care.
Former ministers with responsibility for children’s social care have commented and expressed their concern over this.
The APPG would like to approach Vicky Ford MP, the current minister for children, for an update on the work undertaken since 2019 so that we can keep up to date on the current position.
The APPG will actively seek out and explore learning from others making an impact in EDI work. One such example is Lilian Thuram, a French footballer who played in the winning French team that secured the World Cup in 1998.
Lilian has since retired from professional football and now runs and promotes the Lilian Thuram Foundation for Education against Racism (thuram.org).
We would like to invite Lilian to a future APPG event to hear him speak about the progress of his foundation. Lilian has a depth of understanding around the issues that surrounds racism, and we feel we could learn a lot from him and his experiences.
We would further like to support the promotion of his recent book “My Black Stars”, which catalogues significant achievers of black origin along with his much-anticipated book “White Thinking,” in order to aid our learning and understanding here in the UK.