We are currently looking to develop a new element of our work to tackle inequality - using an academic model of Justice as Action which unites thinking and doing, and which equally unites front-line practice (writing grant applications for families; engaging with inequality; developing projects; talking and re-actively listening to individuals and families experiencing vulnerability and disadvantage) with social and political theory.
A key element of this is to incubate new ideas and projects which tackle inequality, and which link to two key parts of that - firstly, raising funds for services and resources and, secondly, direct service delivery. We do not believe that inequality can be effectively tackled without both of these elements.
Inequality Events - Trauma
We are working on a new model of our work which looks at the impact of trauma more widely than a therapeutic intervention - ultimately looking to address all the areas highlighted in the above Kumu system.
Here is a link to the Kumu System we are developing around Inequality Events and the traumatic fragments which they cause. We view much of the work we do as tackling inequalities caused by trauma - these inequalities can become quite entrenched and link closely to one another. This map alone demonstrates how a multi-agency approach is needed to tackling inequality as no single agency can provide the bespoke package of support required to address trauma, and other Inequality Events, and their multiple and distressing consequences:
Who, When, How - Thinking About Funding and Social Justice
If there is one thing which we have learnt from listening to children and families over the past year during the pandemic is that agencies need to be adaptable and be able to respond to an individual's needs as they change and evolve. This is difficult and sometimes this creates a hidden conflict as what an individual needs is not something that can be provided by the agency engaged with them at the time. We have learnt that a different approach to funding might be needed - that we need to direct funding to other agencies so that they can provide the right support at the right time using the right tools or interventions. However, this also creates issues for agencies as we all naturally need funding to support our core costs and core work. It all suggests a social justice approach to funding - where funding is held around an idea (such as tackling inequality) as opposed to an agency - if the right outcomes are to be achieved for those who need those positive outcomes the most.
Fragments of Trauma - Pilot
We are looking to pilot our first project specifically tackling inequality. This very much situates childhood trauma as a marker of inequality and not something that can be addressed through therapy alone - as the document below explains, traumatic events (as an example of inequality events) impact on an individual's life across many domains including (for example), housing, the classroom, access to enrichment activities and other resources, as well as emotional distress which may require some form of counselling or therapeutic input.
We are currently looking for volunteers to help us support families across the four domains identified in the document below. However, we are also looking for organisations who may be interested in joining with us to form a street-level coalition of agencies looking to combat inequality through front-line, direct, work and service provision.