Race Equality Foundation kickstarts research project on racism and trauma
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UK charity Race Equality Foundation has begun a new evidence into practice project as part of a programme of work for the DRUM centre for Children and Young People of African, Asian and Caribbean heritage.
This project focuses on racism, trauma, inter-generational trauma and the experience of Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and young people. It will run for 18 months and has been funded by Barnardo’s.
The project has come about because of the consistent failure of public services, independent bodies and communities to address the issue of trauma for people who are Black, Asian or minority ethnic. Recent evidence on the lack of early intervention to address the multiple and complex needs of black and mixed-heritage boys now in the youth justice system reported by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons and initiatives like Being Well Being Equal, provides an indication of the urgent need for effective action to address the trauma experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic children.
The aim of the project is to improve our understanding of the experience of trauma and inter-generational trauma as experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic children and their families, and to begin to identify what practice and interventions can contribute to supporting resilience and recovery. There is currently little detail on the experience of trauma for Black, Asian and minority ethnic families, and evidence on trauma informed practice is often reliant on American evidence.
There will be three stages to the trauma project:
Stage one will establish the co-production team; review British evidence on Black, Asian and minority ethnic children’s experience of trauma and inter-generational trauma; collate national and international evidence on the experience of racism as trauma; and carry out a survey of trauma informed practice and how it accounts for the experience of racism.
Stage two will pilot interventions with Black, Asian and minority ethnic parents and children. It is hoped that interventions will be piloted through the deployment of the Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities programme (SFSC), but co-production will explore whether other interventions should also be included in this phase. SFSC has consistently demonstrated its ability to successfully engage Black, Asian and minority ethnic parents and children. Across England, around half of all participants in the SFSC parenting programme come from this group, and in many urban areas such as Lambeth, Southwark and Lewisham for example, between 2016 and 2020, 80 percent of participants identified as being from a Black, Asian or minority ethnic community.
Stage three will see the development, dissemination and embedding of better trauma informed practice. Evidence from this research will also lead to the development of a training programme targeted at frontline practitioners and their organisations to make impactful change.
Mu’minah Iqbal, Researcher on the trauma and racism project said: “We want to explore the experience of trauma for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Britain. Our target focus is on children and families because evidence suggests that the experience of trauma, as well as the mechanisms that promote resilience and recovery, are established in childhood with lifelong consequences.”