This review is one of two rapid reviews written by What Works for Children’s Social Care that focuses on ethnic inequalities within children’s social care. The review aims to evaluate the existing evidence base on the representation, welfare, progression and retention of ethnic minority social workers in Britain. T

Ethnic minority social workers in the UK

The proportion of ethnic minority students on social work courses is high. However, they face barriers to engagement and satisfaction during their studies and placements and experience a lack of support in dealing with racism and discrimination. As a result, they may be less likely to enter or remain in the social worker workforce. In the workplace, ethnic minority social workers are overrepresented in both the child and adult social worker workforce in England. However, ethnic minority social workers are underrepresented in senior positions with perceptions of substantial barriers for career progression. The findings in this review describe the experiences of social workers and social work students. However, they do not allow us to make claims about how representative the findings are of the views and experiences of all social work professionals and students in the UK from ethnic minority groups. In light of the findings, we suggest several avenues for future research, policy and practice.

Read the Ethnic Minority Full Report