An evaluation of the Brent and Newham COVID-19 Over-Represented Children Pathfinder – Covid-19 Over-Represented Children Pathfinder (December 2023)

Summary: An evaluation of the Brent and Newham COVID-19 Over-Represented Children Pathfinder – Covid-19 Over-Represented Children Pathfinder (December 2023) 




The Brent and Newham Pathfinder were funded by the Youth Justice Board and aimed to mitigate the increase in Adverse Childhood Experiences as a result of experiencing grief, bereavement, discrimination, victimisation and separation due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns. In the long-term, the Pathfinder aimed to contribute to reducing over-representation of children from Ethnic minority backgrounds in the Criminal Justice System. To do this, the Pathfinders delivered one-to-one and group-based support for children and families, as well as some activity aimed at improving systems.


Brent (Brent Pathfinder Evaluation Report & Evaluation of the Brent Covid-19 Pathfinder - technical appendix.pdf) and Newham (Evaluation of Newham Covid-19 Pathfinder.pdf &  Newham Pathfinder evaluation - technical appendix.pdf) have shared their individual evaluation reports, as well as the Overarching evaluation of the COVID-19 Pathfinder programmes (Brent & Newham Pathfinder Overarching Evaluation Report) which were published by Cordis Bright. 


The evaluation reports highlight how the Pathfinders were implemented across Brent and Newham and evidence how they supported Ethnic minority children aged 6to 19 with support needs related to household conditions and poverty, mental health needs, challenges with education, social isolation, risk of abuse or exploitation and behavioural issues. The programmes prioritised issues most important to children and served to plug a gap in the system, helping to meet unmet needs.


The one-to-one Pathfinder support engaged 660 children from Brent and Newham. The programme supported some of these children to better manage their behaviours, improve their wellbeing, engage more positively in education, and improve family relationships The outcomes for children involved in the one-to-one support were measured quantitatively using Outcomes Stars tools and, in both sites, all outcome areas showed statistically significant improvements.


School-based support was a particular strength in Newham and took the form of transition support between primary and secondary school (delivered to 383 children), self-esteem group work (delivered to 192), and wellbeing roadshows (reaching 1,803). This work highlighted the importance of schools in supporting children’s wellbeing and as places to embed support networks.


Youth participation was a particular strength in Brent, which successfully engaged over 100 children in its youth panel and podcast sessions. This highlighted the need to amplify the voices of children from ethnic backgrounds and enable their views to inform service delivery in Brent.


The Pathfinders achieved a strengthened focus on Ethnic minority children, bringing together partners to support them. Joint working between the local authority, the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and schools showed promise of enabling effective identification and engagement. Newham sought to tackle discrimination in the borough with two sets of training, cultural humility and cultural sensitivity, and both sites sought to increase use of a trauma-informed approach when supporting children from an Ethnic minority background.






Brent - James Salter, Nichola Roda

Newham - Michelle Edwards