The UKTC will be an authoritative and independent voice on childhood trauma providing expert guidance in a complex field. We are working closely with communities, children and young people, and professionals through consultation and co-production to develop and disseminate accessible, trusted, evidence-based resources and guidance. In the first instance these will be focused on helping professionals support children and young people. Over time we intend to build a UK hub for learning, training and policy guidance. We aim to develop resources for young people themselves and their parents or carers. Through this work the UKTC aims to transform the quality of support available to children and young people who experience trauma.
Why we started
One in three young people is exposed to potentially traumatic events or experiences by the age of 18.  The experience of trauma, whether these are single incident events or the impact of childhood adversity and trauma, can have a potentially devastating impact on children’s development including their physical and mental health, their capacity to learn and their social engagement within their family or the wider community.
The long-term impact can also be significant into and throughout adulthood. These findings underline the importance of an informed and consistent response to childhood trauma that draws on the best use of current evidence and implementation expertise.
There is an overarching set of principles and body of evidence that informs the kind of response and support that can reduce the impact of traumatic events on children. There is also a recognition that the experiences of each child must be thought about in light of their own context.
Despite the profound impact that trauma can play across all aspects of a child’s development , there is currently no platform to facilitate collaboration and communication across individuals and organisations who hold expertise in this area.
This means that across the UK, knowledge and expertise is not always shared, learning is not used and there is no authoritative voice that can speak about all forms of trauma experienced by children and young people. The result is that there is:
- A lack of access: Availability of evidence-based resources and guidance across the country is patchy
- A lack of leverage: The benefits of sharing expertise, experience and knowledge across disciplines, sectors and geographical locations are not realised
- A lack of learning: There is no UK-wide platform to facilitate learning in the field of childhood trauma
For this reason, the Anna Freud Centre identified the need for evidence informed leadership through the UK Trauma Council. The Centre undertook a scoping exercise involving thousands of practitioners and leading academics. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and strongly in favour of establishing a UK-wide council. Thanks to funding from St. James’s Place Foundation, the Council was then established and subsequently was awarded funding from The National Lottery Community Fund – the largest funder of community activity in the UK. This will enable us to develop resources and guidance that can help families, schools and professionals; provide a hub for training, learning and policy guidance; and in future years convene a Young Person’s Trauma Council.
 Lewis, S. J., Arseneault, L., Caspi. A., Fisher, H. L., Matthews, T., Moffitt, T. E., … Danese, A. (2019). The epidemiology of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in a representative cohort of young people in England and Wales. Lancet Psychiatry, 9, 247–56.