All children deserve to receive equitable and effective support to ensure they can reach their full potential, but the lived experiences of minority ethnic children and families engaging with family support services aren’t always equitable.
About the report
It is important to ensure that family support services work for families from all ethnic groups. This report explores a variety of actions, initiatives, and practices that local areas and their partners have developed with the aim of meeting the needs of minority ethnic children and families. This work is informed by qualitative research that involved over 90 stakeholders from local areas in six regions.
Research participants often described their efforts as “pilot projects”, “baby steps”, or part of a journey, discussing ambitions or specific plans to do further work in this space. This report does not attempt to assess where local areas that participated in the research, or local areas more widely are in their respective journeys to design equitable support offers, but aims to highlight interesting practice and critical reflections from participants in our research.
Why we use the term ‘minority ethnic’ in this report
Throughout this report, we use the descriptor ‘minority ethnic’ as an adjective, for example, ‘minority ethnic family’. In this report, we do not use acronyms such as ‘BAME’ or ‘BME’ that do not reflect the heterogeneity that exists across and within communities. Where possible, we are specific and refer to individual ethnic groups. Where participants have used terminology that differs from our principles, we have retained these terms. This is as per language principles previously developed by EIF available here: https://www.eif.org.uk/about/edi-at-eif/our-principles-for-language-and-writing
Foundations is developing updated language principles.
What’s in the report?
The report identifies three themes which describe how the local areas which participated in this research aim to improve service accessibility, experiences and outcomes for minority ethnic children and their families.
1. Meeting the needs of local communities, which covers:
- how to engage communities and build trust
- different ways of responding to families’ and children’s individual needs
- ways of working with community and voluntary sector organisations.
2. A workforce that can support diverse communities, which covers:
- driving organisational culture change
- embedding REDIE in the workplace
- changing practice through training and staff development
- building a workforce that’s representative of the local community.
3. Using evidence to support minority ethnic children and families, which covers:
- understanding who is accessing services
- hearing families’ views
- understanding outcomes
- how to collect, analyse and interpret data.
Each chapter also highlights questions to encourage ongoing reflection on ways to improve race equality, diversity, inclusion, and equity in support offers for children, young people, and families.
Who will find this report useful?
Insights from this exploratory research can support local areas and intervention providers in developing tailored initiatives that enhance family support for minority ethnic children and families within their specific contexts. National government can play a key role in creating the conditions which enable local areas to develop equitable family support offers. Moreover, these insights can provide valuable input for further research on what works to improve service accessibility, experiences and outcomes for minority ethnic children and families.