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Equality, diversity and inclusion

Race equity at the YEF

Frequently asked questions

Questions about our commitment to race equity

Why have you set yourself a goal of making sure that 30% of the children who benefit from your funds are Black, Asian or from another minority background?

It is important to be clear that the majority of youth violence is committed by White children, but Black, Asian and children from other minority backgrounds are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system.

We know that 18% of children in the UK are Black, Asian or from another ethnic minority background, while  33% of children arrested are Black, Asian or from another ethnic minority background. We think it is right to ensure that we – as a minimum therefore ensure that 30% of our funding goes to these children.

At the moment, with the limited data we have, roughly 37% of our funds go to supporting children from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds.

We’re also looking to use our endowment to commission more research about the role of racism in young people’s lives, so that we can make practical, actionable suggestions to policymakers, service leads and practitioners. That way, we can make sure that every young person’s life is free from violence.

You’ve said that, while you have seen improvements, historically there have been funding rounds where organisations led by people from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds were likely to be less successful. Don’t you need to overcorrect your funding?

Since we improved the ways we consider race equity in our funding processes, roughly 37% of our funds reach children from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds. We also hope that, through our dedicated funding stream of £10 million, we can make sure that YEF funds are reaching organisations that missed out in our Launch Grant Round. Data also shows that, since we made changes to our processes, organisations led by people from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds are equally – or even slightly more likely – to receive our funds. This is something that we’ll carry on monitoring, to make sure that the changes we’ve made are consistently effective – and that we don’t slip backwards. If we ever see a problem, we’ll act quickly to review and correct it.  

Why have you got targets related to the leadership of the organisations you fund? Doesn’t it make more sense to think about the children you’re reaching?

We think it’s important to consider both. We know, both from our own data analysis and from our Race Equity Advisory Group, that organisations led by people from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds are more likely to reach children who share that experience. There are also good reasons to believe that these organisations are more likely to be able to deliver culturally sensitive and appropriate services. That’s why we’ve set targets on leadership, as well as on a project’s reach.

What about the leadership of the people running evaluations? How are you making sure that they are diverse enough to deliver their work effectively?

People from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds are underrepresented in research professions, including on our evaluator panel, which is why we’re working to expand the diversity of the organisations we work with. We know there’s more to do, which is why we’re also considering how we can make consultancy services available to evaluators, to advise on the race equity implications of their research designs. It’s one way we can use our funds to make sure that race equity is at the centre of all the research we commission.

Within the YEF, our own hiring and promoting practices are focused on making sure we recruit and retain Evaluation Managers from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds.

Why do lots of your funding targets only relate to your themed grant rounds? Why not to your targeted projects or agency collaboration work?

We want to make sure that we’re reaching community organisations that are led by and for the people they’re there to serve. Our themed rounds are the best way to do that, because our other streams (like agency collaboration and targeted projects) are focused on larger, statutory services.

You’ve said you’ll assess applications to make sure that children from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds will be considered through your decision-making processes. How will you do it?

While each grant round addresses a different research questions (and therefore will have different requirements), we’ll include specific consideration of how applicants have considered the possible impact of racism. This will then lead us to pose relevant questions, which we’ll ask applicants to respond to in their written proposals and interviews, so that we’re fully interrogating their ability to deliver culturally competent services. 

What about children who might experience disadvantage that we know is linked to a higher likelihood of violence (for example, through contact with the care system), but come from economically deprived rural or coastal areas where there’s a smaller population of people from Black, Asian or other minority backgrounds? Does your approach mean that your projects won’t be as likely to support them?

Every child deserves the support we’re here to provide, by generating robust evidence on what works to end violence. The reason for our explicit focus on race is because of the scale of the difference in experience of White children and children from Black, Asian and other minority backgrounds in early help and the criminal justice system. This means that it is almost impossible to deliver our mission without being consciously focused on racial equity. That doesn’t mean that we don’t recognise that there are lots of issues in society that are associated with young people’s involvement in violence – like poverty or experience of the care system. Our focus on race equity doesn’t mean that we won’t address these; in fact, addressing racism will force us to confront other types of inequality too, because they’re so interconnected.

We also have systems when we’re making decisions about the regions we’re investing in, to make sure that the money we spend also reaches children who live in rural and coastal areas, as well as England and Wales’s big cities.