Barnardo’s working with BAME-led groups to explore how to improve outcomes and life opportunities for BAME children and young people
The UK’s largest children’s charity, Barnardo’s, is working with a wide range of BAME-led groups to explore how to improve outcomes and life opportunities for BAME children and young people. This unique approach is a great example of a national charity working hand in glove with such a wide range of smaller, local partners to achieve shared goals.
At a webinar on 16th September led by Barnardo’s CEO Javed Khan and featuring over 50 participants, they discussed the need for specific action to improve our understanding of the challenges facing BAME children and young people and the need for greater investment in research and practice.
BAME children and young people have some of the poorest life chances in the UK: some groups have poorer educational outcomes; they are over-represented in the care system; have additional mental and physical health needs; face specific safeguarding challenges, including FGM and abuse linked to faith and belief; and are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. They are also more likely to miss out on support, due to a lack of cultural competence in services, stigma and institutional racism.
COVID-19 compounds these existing disadvantages, with BAME children far more likely to suffer bereavement as a result of the virus, and to experience multiple family and community members becoming seriously ill. BAME families are also more likely to lose jobs and income in the recession.
The webinar discussed how Barnardo’s could help develop a national centre of expertise for improving outcomes for BAME children and young people. Rather than attempt to address the problem alone, Barnardo’s wants to work in partnership with BAME-led organisations across the UK – bringing together their collective passion, experience and expertise and helping to amplify voices from different communities.