It's my story: helping care-experienced young people give effective media interviews

Racial disadvantage, prejudice and social exclusion

Many young people feel excluded and discriminated against because of their age and media/public perceptions of young people as ‘troublemakers’. Care-experienced young people may also experience additional discrimination due to their family and personal situations, but also because of disability, sexual orientation, gender issues, ethnicity, cultural, language or educational barriers, HIV status, homelessness or being users of mental health services. Some care-experienced young people may also have had involvement with Youth Justice Services.

According to Barn et al (2005), Government statistics and empirical research reports show ‘over-representation of minority ethnic young people in the care system (particularly those of African Caribbean and mixed parentage background)’. Barn et al (2005) go on to explore the ‘multiple disadvantages of care leavers who are also members of minority ethnic groups’ and uncover a ‘complex picture of ethnicity and disadvantage’.

In their final recommendations Barn et al (2005) suggest that ‘given the overt and covert racism experienced by minority ethnic care leavers, social work agencies need to ensure that adequate work is done with young people to prepare them for successfully dealing with this kind of social exclusion’.

It is important that issues of racial disadvantage, prejudice and social exclusion are born in mind when providing media interview skills training to care-experienced young people or marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

Barn, R., Andrew, L. and Mantovani, N. (2005) Life after care: the experiences of young people from different ethnic groups, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Accessed March 2009