Message from the BC College of Social Workers (the College) Registrar-CEO, Mark Hillenbrand:
I have read the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) entrance to practice exam results report: Contributing to the conversation – Association of Social Work Boards (aswb.org).
The report presents information that requires immediate attention and ongoing efforts to address systemic racism. As a profession, we must implement public protection regulatory processes that are fair, transparent and equitable to all. I have been in conversations with Registrars from across Canada. Lise Beauchesne, Deputy Registrar and I have discussed the test data results with the College’s ASWB representative. We will be participating in ASWB’s organization-wide meetings on the data. College staff will actively participate in ASWB facilitated stakeholder engagement meetings to identify next step action items.
The BC College of Social Workers is committed to addressing all forms of racism and systemic racism.
The College apologizes for racism, including Indigenous-specific racism, and any systemic racism existing in the regulatory practices of the College. The College affirms its responsibility to direct a comprehensive and College-wide approach to eliminate racism. The College’s anti-racism statement can be found on the website here: BCCSW-Anti-Racism-Statement-02-July-2021.pdf .
In early 2022, the College initiated an annual independent workplace equity audit. This year’s equity audit has resulted in revisions to the College’s human resources manual, improved hiring practices and all-employee ongoing equity trainings.
I fully support the College’s Cultural Safety, Cultural Humility and Anti-Racism strategic priority, found on our website here: Microsoft PowerPoint – Strategic Priorities 2021-2025 – Final Draft – V2.0 – June 8_2021.pptx (bccsw.ca) . I am committed to leading a workplace and College where every person within the College, regardless of role, will undertake their work in a manner that supports cultural safety, cultural humility, & anti-racism and the implementation and recommendations of; the BC Health Regulators Declaration of Commitment to Cultural Safety, the In Plain Sight Report – Addressing Racism, and the United Nations International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The College is currently revising its bylaws and committee terms of reference to improve equity, diversity of membership, and cultural safety & humility. I have a close eye, from the perspective of eliminating systemic racism, on the College’s bylaw updates, its revised policies & procedures and the ASWB clinical entrance to practice exam.
Racism, in all its forms, has no place in any of the institutions; education, association and regulation, that make up the social work profession.