Randomised Controlled Trial of a LGBTQ+ Training Programme for Social Workers

The University of Birmingham is conducting a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of a LGBTQ+ training programme for social workers as part of the LYPSA (LGBTQ+ Young People in Social Care) Study, aiming to improve the attitudes, knowledge and skills of social work staff.


Randomised controlled trial / In progress

Estimated completion

March 2023

Focus areas


Evaluated by

University of Birmingham

This randomised controlled trial (RCT) is the second part of the LGBTQ+ Young People in Social Care (LYPSA) research project, conducted by the University of Birmingham. Within this trial, we will test the effectiveness of an e-learning training module titled “Supporting LGBTQ+ Children and Young People”, specifically tailored to local authorities in England. This e-module is designed to improve the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of children and young people’s service staff, as well as social workers, to support LGBTQ+ youth. This is accomplished by providing learners with essential information, practical advice, and interactive activities where learners can consider how LGBTQ+ inclusive practice can be embedded across their settings. This includes information about LGBTQ+ terminology, experiences, and intersecting identities; the law and practice obligations in relation to LGBTQ+ inclusion; strategies to prevent and tackle homo-, bi- and transphobic bullying and language; and appropriate and relevant signposting.

Social workers will be randomly allocated to either receive the intervention or to the control group where they will not receive the intervention. An impact evaluation will be conducted to assess how effective the training course is in changing social workers’ heteronormative and cis-normative attitudes and beliefs, and how effective the training course is in changing social workers’ perceived knowledge about LGBTQ+ young people. We will also consider whether these effects are moderated by variables such as age, gender, religiosity, and connection to the LGBTQ+ community.

The training programme will run from May to December 2022, with the final report due in March 2023.

Further information about the trial can be found here.