The Black Care Experience Conference 2023


Sat Feb 11 2023 at 10:00 am to 03:30 pm


ARC - A Radical Church | London, EN

Theme: The Culturally Competent Workforce
About this Event
What is The Black Care Experience?

Before the 1980’s, it is said that the experiences of Black Children in Care were hidden from History.

Black being defined as a person whose Ethnic Origin is either African, Caribbean including Mixed Race with African or Caribbean Heritage.

There was no official data collected by Local Authorities or Government, and no research into their experiences, with little recognition of their culture and heritage.

This was raised as a concern by The Association of Black Social Workers and Allied Professionals (ABSWAP)and followed up on by the Commission for Racial Equality.

Two separate surveys, one in London and one in Manchester, revealed for the first time that children and young people from African and Caribbean, and mixed parentage backgrounds, were significantly overrepresented in the care system.

It was also highlighted

  • that there is a failure of social services to recruit enough Black Foster Carers and Adoptive Parents, resulting in Black Children being overrepresented in children’s homes. and
  • that when Black Children are Fostered with white families, this could lead to identity problems, a poor self-image, lack of cultural knowledge, few Black friends and a stereotyped white view of young Black people.

These findings and concerns were presented to the House of Commons Select Committee for Children In Care.

In 1984, the voices of those Black and In Care was finally heard at a Black and In Care Conference held in London. This Conference was put together by a Black and In Care Steering Group, the National Association for Young People in Care and the Children’s Legal Centre.

The Conference highlighted issues surrounding the Care of those who are Black and shone a light on a ‘white care system’ that failed to recognise many of the needs of young people who were ‘black and in care’.

At the Conference, recommendations on how to meet the needs of this demographic, were captured and published in a Black and In Care Conference Report.

In an attempt to change Policy and Practice, this Report was widely circulated to Local Authorities.

The National Association for Young People In Care, presented evidence on all aspects of the Care Experience to the House of Commons Select Committee on Social Services, and the Black and In Care Conference Report was also included.

This information influenced the Committees’ response which led to the creation of the Children Act 1989, which for the first time, saw black children in care no longer hidden from legislation and no longer hidden from history.

Now whilst there have been some good example of Care, IT IS fair and balanced to say that 40 Years later, we still see Black Children and Young people facing the same challenges experienced by the Black and In Care Group, leading to them having the poorest outcomes and life chances, in comparison to any other ethnic group, with the System not being held accountable.

In 2020, The Black Care Experience was formed to campaign for change within Children's Social Care Sector and to help shape the ‘Care’ of the next Black Care Experienced Generation.

Through our Research and Survey, we saw that History had indeed repeated itself, with the same extra layer of challenges that must be overcome in order for us to achieve our potential.

For context, we understand that the Care Experience for ALL does come with its challenges, and we also understand that the Care Experience for those of us who are Black does come with an extra layer of challenges.

These extra layers we identified as:

  • Placements that are unable to promote our Culture and Identity impacting on how we see ourselves
  • Placements that have a direct impact on how our Hair and Skin is cared for
  • Placements that are unable to prepare us to return to and be a part of our Community, impacting on how we see our Community
  • Placements that fail to prepare us for the Racism and Discrimination we may face in the World we live in
  • Placements that are unable to be seen as a Safe Space to hear and understand our ‘Voice’ in relation to our Culture, Identity, Hair and Skin Care
  • Who was there to be a role model and champion our Aspirations, when some of us were told ‘who you…you can’t do that, you’d be better of doing this instead’
  • Racism, Discrimination and Prejudice experienced in the homes of those who are to Care for those ‘Black’ and in their Care.
  • The Overrepresentation of Black including Mixed Race Children in Care
  • The Shortage of Black Foster Carers to care for Black Children and Young People in the Care System
  • Black Boys waiting the longest to be Adopted

Please note: Placements are Foster Carers and Residential Children’s Homes that children and young people in care are placed with.

Our findings, with recommendations, have been documented in a Black Care Experience Report submitted to England's Independent Children's Social Care Review and can be found here.

The Black Care Experience Network

At The Black Care Experience our vision is to help be the change we want to see.

We want to see that every Black Child and Young Person remains connected to their Culture, Identity and Heritage, as they journey through Children’s Social Care System.

We want to see them have a positive sense of who they are, are prepared for the wider World, have their aspirations championed and go on to live good and successful lives, after being in Care.

To make this a reality, we have created The Black Care Experience Network, bringing together the diverse Children’s Social Care Workforce and the Voluntary Sector Workforce within Children’s Social Care, to learn from the Lived Black Care Experience and share best practice, in order to improve their systems and practice.

Learning takes places via:

  • Our Bi Monthly Newsletters
  • Training and Consultation
  • Our Workshop style Annual Conferences (our first Conference took place in February 2022 and can be viewed here.

Bringing the Network together, gives us the opportunity to join hands and influence Legislation and Policy, that will change the course of events for Black Children and Young People in the Care System.

The Black Care Experience Conference 2023

The Theme for our workshop style Conference is 'The Culturally Competent Workforce'

In this Years’ Conference we’ll explore what it really means to be ‘culturally competent’ and whether being ‘culturally competent’ can improve the Care, Outcomes and Life Chances of Black Children and Young People in Care.

The Conference will consist of:
  • Children’s Social Care Workforce Panel – Chaired by Emma Fincham (Member of The Black Care Experience Network Steering Team)

Antonia Ogundayisi – Service Manager for Anti Racist Practice for Essex County Council -Antonia is a Social Work Leader with over 13 years of experience in Social Care. She has a particular specialism in Children and Families, Anti-Racist Practice and Youth Justice services. Antonia has worked in a variety of public and voluntary sectors with diverse teams and one of her core missions is to drive racial equity across multiple safeguarding professions. Antonia is passionate about human rights; advocating for the voices that are subjugated and is committed to persisting for racial equity for Black children. Antonia is currently working as a Service Manager for Anti-Racist Practice and is developing a strategy to drive Organisational Change.

Jacquie Burke – Group Director Children and Education for Hackney

More Children’s Social Care Workforce Panelist’s to be announced soon!
  • Black Care Experienced Care Leaver Panel – Chaired by Judith Denton (Founder of The Black Care Experience) & David Akinsanya (Equity Lead for the Integrated Care System in Essex and Suffolk)

Matthew Page - Matthew, 49, is a Business Development Manager for a tech firm based in the City of London, he lived in care for 15 years and is now a Foster Carer himself. Matthew recently appeared on the BBC show DNA: Family Secrets with Stacey Dooley which saw him venture on a journey to trace his black roots and to uncover the truth about his heritage. He is passionate about helping children in care find their voice and has been an avid supporter and driver in community projects.

Mana Gondora - Mana is the founder of Who Cares Consultancy and a public speaker who often speaks on her own experiences of being in care and advocating for care leavers. Mana is also a programme manager working in Youth Services and specialising in Youth engagement, participation, safeguarding and project management.

Rebecca Olayinka - Rebecca is an experienced Social Worker, BIA & Senior Practitioner with a demonstrated history of working in the local government industry. She is also a 3 x contributing author to the book; “Outlanders- Hidden Narratives of Social Workers of Colour and a freelance writer who has published many articles in The Everyday- online Magazine. Rebecca is very passionate about improving outcomes for Black foster children in care and is currently writing a book about her own experiences as a way to empower other Care Experienced people.

Queenie Chizea - Queenie is an Interior and Spatial designer, public speaker and community champion. As a versatile creative, Queenie is a multi-disciplinary designer and former Head of Marketing & Communications for a South London based youth charity. She is also the Co-Chair for Big Local Broad Green, a community interest initiative, a Director/Trustee for Croydon Drop-In, and Legacy Youth Zone. She's experienced the care system, adopted and abandoned, using her life experience and story to make a change for children and young people. She is currently building an interior design business and project designing the first homes of care experienced young people which she is very passionate about. Outside of her day to day, entrepreneurial activities and social impact, Queenie enjoys serving at her local church, Hillsong, as well leading and coaching young adult christian groups, hiking, travelling and reading. She is personally motivated and interested in community and social development.

  • Black Care Experience Celebratory Performances – Hosted by Ric Flo (Care-experienced Rap Artist & Creative Director at Mantra Music)

Keeley Stephenson - Keeley is an Award winning community leader and Author, a Poet, an impactful story sharer and the Founder of Care Leaver Legacy. Keeley tends to use her negative experiences as fuel to shape her purpose and influence the individuals around her. One of her greatest passion's is to inspire and uplift the next generation to leave a legacy behind and achieve their absolute BEST.

Xoul - King Simpson better known by his stage name 'Xoul' is the young recording artist and writer from South London who brings a new wave of versatility to modern music. Combining his unique tone and intricate lyrics with the essence of RnB, Indie, Soul and Hip-Hop, he produces sentimental and thought provoking material. After long thought and preparation, Xoul has introduced his sound to the world with the intention of spreading a message of healing. He encourages his listeners to recognise their emotions truthfully whilst enjoying the journey of life itself. This auspicious talent is one to watch.

MORE Conference details to be announced SOON!!Who can attend:
  • Black Care Experienced Care Leavers (age 18 and above)
  • Black Family Members who have had experience of Children’s Social Care
  • Children’s Social Care Workforce (Directors, Managers, Social Workers, Foster Carers, Local Authority Virtual School, Independent Reviewing Officers, Residential Children’s Home Staff and Providers)
  • Voluntary Sector Children’s Social Care Workforce
  • Researchers within the Children’s Social Care Sector

Come and have a VOICE! Come and be a part of the CHANGE!
Light Refreshments will be available!Pay What You Can

We are passionate about making our conference accessible to those who wish to attend, and believe that no one should be excluded because of their financial circumstances, particularly now, when so many are struggling.

We know that ticket price is a huge barrier for some, and we hope that our Pay What You Can model will give a wider range of people the chance to attend our Conference and engage with the work we do.

What is Pay What You Can?

You can choose to pay our Ticket price or pay by way of a Donation, whichever works for you.

The minimum recommended Donation amount per ticket is £10.

The Full Price per ticket is £30.

Care Leavers can obtain a FREE ticket to attend.

The Pay What You Can model will not cover the costs of the Conference, but will still be a vital part of our income mix and contribute to enabling us to make our Conference happen.

Income Mix

In addition to the Ticket income we receive, we are Crowdfunding and actively applying to Funders and Sponsors for support. With these fundraising initiatives in place, we will be able to host our Conference and continue the work of The Black Care Experience for as long as possible.

Any questions? Please feel free to email us at [email protected]

Limited Spaces Available
More details about The Black Care Experience can be found on our website here.
Event Photos

Where is it happening?

ARC - A Radical Church, 66A Sebert Road, London, United Kingdom

Event Location & Nearby Stays:


GBP 0.00 to GBP 30.00

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