Equipping Researchers to Adopt a Trauma-Informed Approach

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new resource, ‘Trauma-Informed Social Research: A Practical Guide’, written by Kerry Dowding, Research and Evaluation Officer with Fulfilling Lives South East Partnership.

This brief and accessible guide gives practical hints and tips on how to apply the principles of trauma-informed practice to research activities with vulnerable groups, notably those affected by multiple disadvantage. The guide contains interactive checklists for carrying out focus groups, one-to-one interviews, and conducting observations.

Who is this for and how should it be used?

The guide is suitable for evaluators, researchers (including peer researchers), service leads, commissioners, or anyone else who would like to conduct research with vulnerable groups. It can be used as a point of reference to help plan for and reflect on the research journey, making sure researchers have structures in place to support themselves and the participants throughout the process.

Why a trauma-informed approach?

We have found that people experiencing multiple disadvantage are often eager to share their experiences and contribute to learning and research to help bring about positive change in services. However, inviting people to talk about their experiences has the potential to be re-traumatising. A trauma-informed approach to research activities involves researchers establishing safety and trust with participants, allowing them to share openly and participate collaboratively.

How did it come about?

The guide combines the author’s specialist knowledge of research methods and an understanding of the importance of a trauma-informed approach gained through conducting co-produced research with people affected by multiple disadvantage.

During its development, the guide was shared in a working group attended by staff and volunteers with lived experience of multiple disadvantage as well as those with extensive experience of supporting this client group. The working group gave feedback and advice on the content and direction of the guide, and their contributions were invaluable. The guide was designed by Ben Pickersgill, Media and Communications Officer with Fulfilling Lives.

The view and download the guide, click here where you will be directed to our website.

Lewis Edwards, Learning and Impact Manager

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