Bristol is a diverse city, our residents are from a range of different backgrounds, cultures, and ethnicities. The city’s 2,000 social care staff have a strong understanding of this diversity and provide tailored support to those who need it the most.
Our social care staff themselves are an example of Bristol’s diversity, so we know it is important that we ensure the inequalities experienced by our Black, Asian and minoritised social care staff are addressed. We want everyone to be able to continue doing their job while progressing in their careers and be supported, respected and empowered.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences deepened inequalities between Bristol’s families and communities. We took action to reverse these effects, signing up to the voluntary pilot Workforce Race Equality Standard Programme (WRES). The year-long programme has allowed us to self-evaluate and consider what further actions we can take to tackle race inequality and drive an important culture shift within our social care workforce.
Over the last year, we have collected and submitted data to the Department of Health and Social Care, looking for disparities between our white and Black, Asian and minoritised colleagues. We heard directly from staff, learned about their experiences in the workforce and today, we have published our WRES action plan in response to our findings.
The council has been making significant steps towards achieving race equality, but we know there is so much more to be done. Our action plan shows where we are already doing well, as well as outlining the areas we need to improve on. Our staff highlighted some areas we need to focus our efforts on, such as, representation at a senior level, recruitment and career progression.
We will create opportunities for staff training and development so that our workforce is trained to the highest standard possible. We will review our progress annually, allowing us to strive towards a fair and inclusive social care workplace, that our staff and residents deserve.
Thank you to all our social care colleagues who’ve shared their experiences through the WRES. You have been central in forming our action plan to help us achieve equity.
You can read our WRES action plan on the Council’s website.
Find out more about Bristol’s WRES story through this blog from the Department of Health and Social Care.