BASW Cymru and partners have launched a new initiative to improve communication, understanding and break down barriers between social workers and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.
The plan includes setting up a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Social Work Association to provide a network for all GRT social workers.
It is a space where they can share experiences, be visible, support good social work practice within GRT communities and promote social work as a positive career choice for anyone from a GRT background.
The venture is jointly led by Jackie Bolton, Doreen Dove and BASW Cymru National Director, Allison Hulmes, who are all social workers from Gypsy and Traveller families.
Ms Hulmes said: ‘There have been many times when each of us has wanted a shared space for support and to influence a shift in the narrative around the negative way social workers are viewed by Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) communities.
‘We know that is often due to the social workers’ lack of understanding about GRT communities and poor practice.
‘We have a hunch that there are more GRT social workers out there who we would like to link up with, including some who may be reluctant to talk about their ethnicity for fear of discrimination in their workplace.’
Membership is open to all GRT social workers (or student social workers) in the UK and Republic of Ireland plus allied professionals in social care.
More information is available on the Facebook group ‘GRT Social Workers’ or can be obtained by emailing Allison Hulmes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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