Jasmine Nembhard-Francis

Not many people know what they want to do when they are a teenager and an even smaller number end up doing it. But that’s me! At the age of 15, I knew clearly that social work was what I wanted to do – it was my vocation. I was a rebel teenager involved in lengthy discussions on race, gender and class disparities. I entered the profession with these issues at the forefront of my mind.

I worked towards this from that young age and started  as a residential social worker, then unqualified field social worker and later, a qualified social worker who eventually progressed through the various levels of seniority within the profession over the years that followed.

I have enjoyed many areas of social worker. Safeguarding, independent reviewing officers, fostering and adoption, commissioning and Heads of Service posts in safeguarding and quality and assurance. The thrill of these roles was working with other colleagues and focusing on improving the outcomes for children and their families.  For me, it did not matter what level I progressed to in an organisation. Children and fairness for all was at the forefront of my mind.

Training and development has always been a passion and so when the opportunity came for me to join The Staff College, I welcomed it. I joined The Staff College in autumn last year,  initially joining as an associate coach,  building on my previous experience  as a mentor within the local authority. Since then, I have been privileged to become involved in a number of exciting Staff College programmes and projects.

As an alumnus of BALI – I think I was in cohort one or two! – I am now part of a group of associates who will be delivering the programme and am very excited about this as the innovation of BALI and what it offers to us,  Global Majority people, is second to none.

I am also involved in the design and delivery of the Women in Leadership  programme and have witnessed for myself the transformative  work that takes place during the two days with women who are allowed the time and space to connect and reflect on themselves and their leadership. I am fortunate to be involved in a number of other exciting  projects, one of which is an Aspirant Women Leaders programme, which we hope to bring to market later in the year – watch this space!

I remain fiercely  committed to inclusivity and fairness  and have stretched myself over the last few months in attending training events run by senior associates, reading a number of  reference materials, listening to podcasts and watching videos to ensure that information incorporated and shared is up to date, relevant and culturally appropriate. As a Global Majority woman, I am aware of both the barriers I have faced and the additionality that I bring to any space that I occupy. I would invite you to take the opportunity to talk to colleagues, associates, read relevant  materials and become an accomplice or co-conspirator – as the work on equity is far from over!