Critical and Radical Social Work
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“We started talking about race and racism after George Floyd”: Insights from research into practitioner preparedness for anti-racist social work practice in England

Authors: Prospera Tedam1 and Tam Cane2
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  • 1 United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
  • | 2 University of Sussex, UK
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The events of 2020, notably, the murder of George Floyd and the global COVID-19 pandemic, brought issues of race and racism into sharp focus in social work education, research and practice. In the UK, the Black Lives Matter movement contributed to raising awareness of the existence and effects of racism, and the need for anti-racist practice in all areas of social work; yet, surprisingly, some social workers alleged to have first heard the term ‘anti-racist practice’ after the murder of George Floyd, while others claimed a basic understanding of what it meant in practice. This article reports the findings from a qualitative study with 67 social workers about their preparedness for anti-racist practice with service users at the point of qualification and after their assessed and supported year in employment. A proposal for race intentionality as opposed to race evasiveness is made.

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  • 1 United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates
  • | 2 University of Sussex, UK

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