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Targeted project

Trauma-informed practice and its impact on youth violence

Run in partnership with the Home Office

Opening in September 2022

Grant round opens:
1st September 2022


The Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) is a charity with a mission that matters. We’re here to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. We do this by finding out what works and building a movement to put this knowledge into practice.

This means that we gather, build and share the best available evidence on what works, for whom, and why. We do this so that we can support you to keep children and young people safe.

We’re launching a new targeted project, Trauma-informed practice and its impact on youth violence, to find out what difference trauma-informed practice has on keeping children safe from violence. We’re particularly interested in trauma-informed practice delivered in criminal justice, education and child protection services.

Why we’re focusing on trauma-informed practice

The harmful effects of childhood exposure to traumatic events has been demonstrated consistently and across many different areas of a young person’s life, including health, education, employment, and involvement with the criminal justice system. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have been associated with a range of concerning behaviours and there is growing evidence that shows the high prevalence of ACEs among young people who’ve committed offences. 

Increasing awareness and understanding of the impact of trauma, how to recognise its signs and symptoms, and how to work sensitively with young people to avoid re-traumatisation has become an increasingly popular approach across lots of services related to violence prevention. However, there is very little research on the effectiveness of this approach for protecting children from involvement in violence.  In the YEF Toolkit, the strand looking at Trauma-informed training and service redesign shows that, at the moment, there’s insufficient evidence to know whether these approaches have an impact on crime and violence.

That’s why we need to conduct robust evaluations, like randomised control trials, which is what we want to achieve throught this grant round.

What we’re aiming to invest in

As part of this project, we aim to find, fund and evaluate trauma-informed practice programmes or approaches in England and Wales. All of the projects we fund will be within the education, child protection and criminal justice sectors.

We are keen to fund programmes or approaches that deliver activities that focus on the following areas:

  • Staff training and development: this may involve training staff on the impact of trauma, strategies to reduce traumatic stress among staff, and assessments of staff members’ knowledge on trauma and its impact; and / or:
  • Organisational change: this area focuses on creating a trauma-informed system through, for example, collaboration and information sharing within and between organisations. This could include the implementation of procedures to reduce the risk of re-traumatising service users, written policies that include and support trauma-informed practice principles; and / or:
  • Trauma-focused referrals and planning: increasing and improving the quality of referrals to evidence-based trauma-specific services and / or the inclusion of a child’s or young person’s trauma history in the case or service plan. 

Out of scope for this funding round are therapeutic interventions (for example, trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder).

The child-level outcomes we’re interested in

We are interested in finding trauma informed practice activity falling within the areas above so that we can evaluate its impact. Our evaluations would look at the links between this activity and the following child-level outcomes:

  • Breaking the law (both violent and non-violent offences)
  • Being a victim of crime
  • Being in a gang
  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Bullying
  • Helping others
  • Drug and alcohol use
  • Having meaningful relationships
  • School attendance, connectedness, exclusion or attainment

We will update this section shortly with more information on the eligibility and exclusion criteria for applicants.


Thursday 1 September – applications open 

Wednesday 30 October – applications close

Late 2022 – application assessment and interviews with shortlisted applicants

Early 2023 – funding awarded, evaluators appointed

Spring 2023 – co-design of programmes start with evaluators and grantees

Summer 2023 – delivery and evaluation begins

Help with your application

When we release the full application form we will also share assessment guidance and a guidance video with relevant information about this funding round and the application process.


You’ll be able to access the application form and guidance (in English and Welsh) on this website on 1 September 2022.


If you are interested in this funding round and have questions, please get in touch with

© 2022 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.
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