Published On: 15 May 2023Tags: , , , ,

New Race Equality Foundation research project begins on racism and trauma

Immediate release

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(1) and initiatives like Being Well Being Equal(2), 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.”





  1. HMIP, 2021
  2. Being Well Being Equal, 2023

Race Equality Foundation

Race Equality Foundation is a national charity tackling racial inequality in public services to improve the lives of Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. The Foundation believes that everyone should be provided with the opportunities to flourish. The charity was established in 1987 as part of the National Institute for Social Work (NISW) and was first known as the Race Equality Unit. It became an independent charitable organisation in 1995. In 2006, the Race Equality Unit changed its name to the Race Equality Foundation.

Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is an inclusive evidence-based parenting programme, designed to promote protective factors which are associated with good parenting and better outcomes for children.

SFSC has enjoyed success with parents from a number of backgrounds, including Black and minority ethnic parents, teenage parents, parents with learning disabilities and parents from marginalised communities, including those with experience of drugs, alcohol or violence.


Barnardo’s is the UK’s biggest Children’s Charity. It supports and protects children and young people facing a wide range of issues, from drug misuse to disability, from sexual abuse to domestic violence.

Like its founder, Thomas Barnardo, the charity believes that with the right help, children can change their lives and achieve their potential.

Over 150 years ago, Barnardo promised to support those children in need of help – regardless of their circumstances, gender, race, disability or behaviour.

Today, Barnardo’s continues to honour that promise.