Racism is toxic, corrosive and everywhere. It is part of our organisations, our institutions, our societal structures, our language, our behaviours, and ourselves. We all learn it – we are socialised into it – as we grow up.

Racism is much more than name-calling or racially motivated violence by individual people or organisations. If it was only that, it would be easier to stop. The systems that reinforce racism have their roots in centuries of racial oppression, including slavery and colonialism, and centuries of whiteness being the norm and therefore invisible.

To rid our society (and ourselves) of racism is a huge task and it may take longer than we want it to. But it is our task. And we must do all we can to do it. We all speak from different vantage points and there is no one homogenous experience. And race is not the only lens – it is important to acknowledge intersectionality and that class, religion, gender and sexuality all play a part in shaping our experiences. Discussions can become emotionally charged and we will need to work hard to enable respectful and open dialogue.

As a predominantly white presenting organisation, our experiences of racism are limited and we do not have all the answers. But as an organisation that has as its mission to ‘improve the life chances for children and young people in care’ we have a duty to try and seek the solutions and the answers. Because we do know that the children and families from minority ethnic backgrounds experience racism in their interactions with the care system and its professionals.

We believe that for change to be able to happen, we must change ourselves. We must re-examine ourselves and our practices in relation to race and anti-racism. And white people – as the architects and main beneficiaries of these systems – must recognise how they benefit and the privileges that whiteness brings and take responsibility for actively changing things.

To be anti-racist we have to identify the ways in which we contribute to the problem and commit to actively working for change. And we have to start talking about race and racism and how it affects us and our relationships and our work. Without dialogue, challenge and feedback that help us learn and grow, change is unlikely to happen.

We are proud of some of the things we have done in the past to challenge racism but we also hold our hands up to some of the things we have got wrong or when we haven’t done enough. And we commit to doing more to tackle racism in all its forms. Talking more, reading more, seeing more, interacting more. We will play our part to create the organisational context for anti-racist practice to thrive. We will take action to make it happen.