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Our mission is to create social change for children who do not have a safe or stable home, by developing excellent social work practice, leadership and innovation.  

We want Frontline to reflect children, young people, and families across England. We want to create an environment in which everyone can contribute, develop, and thrive, regardless of their gender, race, age, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, cultural identity or care experience. Compliant with the Equality Act 2010, we pledge to eliminate workplace discrimination, harassment, and victimisation.

Our commitment extends to promoting equal opportunity and fostering positive relations among diverse groups. 

Our focus

We have identified three key areas of focus for effecting and evaluating change:

Disability and Neurodiversity

Only 4% of organisations prioritise disability and neurodiversity, but Frontline stands out by embracing the social model. We aim to eliminate barriers for disabled and neurodivergent individuals, ensuring an accessible, inclusive, and empowering environment, distinct in our commitment to recognising and removing obstacles. 

Race and Anti-Racism

Post-George Floyd’s murder in 2020, Frontline intensified efforts against racism. Significant progress includes a racial diversity plan, anti-racism in recruitment, and program curriculum. Acknowledging anti-racism as an ongoing journey, we recognize its multifaceted nature across various levels. 

LGBTQIA+

As a charity committed to breaking social injustice barriers for children, we address rising transphobia and LGBTQIA+ persecution globally. Acknowledging potential impacts on LGBTQIA+ children, we prioritise practitioner and leader preparedness, aiming for safe, inclusive environments across our programmes.  

Our focus for monitoring and driving change will centre on those three areas outlines above. Additionally, our DandI statement clarifies our position on two other identity aspects: care experience and trans allyship. 

Our focus for monitoring and driving change will centre on those three areas outlines above. Additionally, our diversity and inclusion statement clarifies our position on two other identity aspects: care experience and trans allyship. 

Care-experience

Although the government did not adopt the Independent Review’s recommendation to legally protect care experience, Frontline pledges to treat it as a protected characteristic alongside Equality Act 2010 parameters, acknowledging discrimination faced by the care-experienced community. 

Trans allyship

Frontline stands against rising intolerance and hostility towards trans individuals. We commit to listening to and respecting their identities and experiences, using inclusive language, and creating inclusive spaces. Our dedication extends to developing knowledge reflected in our curriculum, supporting social work practitioners to understand and respond to the needs of all LGBTQIA+ children and young people. 

Our principles

In line with our freedom and responsibility culture paper, diversity is integral to our mission, emphasising the need for varied perspectives to represent the children and families we aim to impact positively. A culture of inclusion is crucial for authentic interactions, fostering connection and belonging. 

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion revolves around four principles: 

Equity

Recognising historical discrimination, we strive to address imbalances beyond equal opportunity, taking positive action to tackle systemic barriers faced by marginalised groups.

Collaboration

Acknowledging limited decision-making within a minority, we prioritise consultation and collaboration, aspiring to be inclusive and curious about those absent from the conversation.

Allyship

Frontline actively promotes an inclusive culture through intentional efforts, moving beyond words to actions. We recognise our relative power, advocating for marginalised groups and yielding space to the less heard.

Humility

George Floyd’s murder prompted introspection, teaching us the significance of humility in learning and growth. Embracing curiosity, challenging assumptions, and accepting our limitations, we continually seek new perspectives on diversity and inclusion.

Our ongoing journey

At Frontline we have learnt a great deal from our diversity and inclusion journey so far. One of the key learnings being the importance of persistence and the need to continue to take steps each day to make progress. We are dedicated to continuing our learning, our progress and to making change. 

What we’ve done

Our diversity and inclusion action plan highlights much of the work that has been undertaken and the sections below provides further information on some of the broader work that has been undertaken in relation to various aspects of diversity and inclusion. 

Diversity and Inclusion Action plan

We introduced a comprehensive diversity and inclusion plan aimed at effecting and evaluating change in key areas, assessed through diversity, inclusion, leadership, and culture. A diversity and inclusion working group has been set up and this ensures transparency and active participation, aligning with our organisational commitment that underscores diversity and inclusion as everyone’s responsibility.

Interview guidance

Our interview guidance for hiring managers has been revised to address inherent inequities. Measures include requiring ethnically and gender-diverse panels for first and second-round interviews.

An all-white shortlist is unacceptable.

Candidates identifying with a disability meeting a 60% shortlisting threshold are automatically scheduled for interviews.

Training and development

Our diversity and inclusion training, starting at induction, covers social graces, anti-discrimination, and allyship. Mandatory e-learning on digital accessibility has been introduced. Active bystander training supports responding to discrimination incidents.

Employee resource groups

Affinity, special interest, and action groups offer peer support and consultation. Affinity groups provide space for shared identity discussions, contributing to change.

Community spaces

Community spaces foster support networks for minoritised identities, addressing discrimination in placements or programs.

Curriculum content

Since 2020, our unwavering commitment to anti-racism is reflected in curriculum content. Race, racism, and anti-racism are integrated throughout, with a commitment to addressing various aspects of marginalisation consistently.

What we’re doing

The sections below outlines some of the current diversity and inclusion work we are undertaking currently:

Inclusion maturity review 

We are currently working with Diversity and Ability, to conduct a thorough disability and neurodiversity assessment to identify strengths and areas for improvement. The forthcoming report and recommendations will guide our next steps to enhance diversity and inclusion efforts.

LGBTQIA+ focus

LGBTQIA+ focus groups aim to enhance social work education, practice, and leadership for effective LGBTQIA+ support. Through participant, fellow, and leader focus groups, we seek insights for training development and innovative changes.

Flair survey

In 2021 we commissioned a ‘race in the workplace’ survey with Flair to gather data to inform our anti-racism work. In June 2022 we launched the survey again to see what, if anything, has changed, and to help identify our focus for the next 12 months

Inclusion passport

This year, inclusion passports are introduced on our Frontline programme and to Frontline staff , strengthening our commitment to participant support. These documents record needs and agreements, extending beyond health to aid adjustments related to identity. Fostering conversations, they reduce workplace stigma, shame, and barriers, with potential extension to employees

What’s next

To ensure ongoing progress in diversity and inclusion, we’ve set clear objectives for each priority area. Over the next year, all teams will focus on these goals: 

Disability and Neurodiversity 

Create an accessible, welcoming, and inclusive environment for disabled and neurodivergent staff and colleagues and be proactive in promoting such environments for programme participants.

LGBTQIA+ 

Enhance organisational and social work understanding to confidently work with LGBTQIA+ individuals.
Address potential discrimination and factors contributing to harm within social work practice.

Race and anti-racisim

Inspire, empower, and upskill staff, programme participants, and partners to address racism at all levels (interpersonal, structural, and institutional).

If you have any questions or comments with regards to this statement, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Lisa Zaranyika, equity, diversity and inclusion director at lisa.zaranyika@thefrontline.org.uk You can also read the full diversity and inclusion statement on our website.