The Youth Endowment Fund and BBC Children in Need in partnership with The Hunter Foundation, have launched the Agency Collaboration Fund: A supportive home to test specialist multi-agency and multi-disciplinary teams located in neighbourhoods to support children, young people and their families/carers who are vulnerable to – or experiencing – violence or criminal exploitation outside the home.
They will fund up to five partnerships. Each successful partnership application will test a multi-agency team approach in two different neighbourhoods/localities within one local authority area. This will enable them to test if and how different contexts, systems and conditions make a difference to implementation, generating learnings and evidence to inform policy and practice for children and young people at risk of extra-familial harm, including reforms to children’s social care.
Each partnership will be made up of both statutory and Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations. There is a strong emphasis on children and young people and parents/carers as partners in service design, delivery and review.
Focus areas are:
- Family support: Whether it’s through family therapy or better early help, they know that helping parents and carers can make a difference to children at risk of becoming involved in violence. This includes specific support for children in care.
- Trusted adults: Not every child has someone in their family they can turn to for support and guidance. This area focuses on helping children and young people build trusted adult relationships – outside of their families – to keep them safe from violence, offending and exploitation.
- Diversion: Sometimes things go wrong. If a young person gets into trouble or is arrested, programmes that divert them away from the court system are an effective way to reduce offending, which is better for the child and potential victims.
- Therapies: If a child or young person is going through a tough time, talking through their worries with a skilled therapist can really help. It can give them the skills to manage negative thoughts or feelings and recover from experiences of trauma
- Focused deterrence: Focused deterrence is an approach to violence reduction that was developed in Boston (USA) in the mid-1990s. The strategy identifies the people most likely to be involved in violence and offers support and positive routes away from it. But if violent behaviour persists, swift sanctions are enforced. It’s been effectively used abroad and in Scotland. They are learning whether it can make a difference in England and Wales.
- Presence in schools: School absence – missed attendance, as well as fixed and permanent exclusion – not only impacts on pupils’ attainment, but also the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence and crime. Schools need programmes, practices and policies that improve attendance, prevent unnecessary exclusions and create safe, positive places to learn.
- Neighbourhoods: A lot of crime happens in very specific areas – a neighbourhood, a park, a row of shops or a few streets. One way to tackle this problem is to bring together local agencies, organisations and communities to plan and deliver targeted support to those children who are most at risk of becoming involved in crime and violence
- Positive activities: Structured sports, music, arts and outdoor activities can help young people develop social and emotional skills, which means they’re better able to express their feelings in constructive ways – reducing any violence or harm to others. These activities can also be used as ‘hooks’ to engage children and young people in other beneficial services and support.
- For the feasibility phase, the YEF in partnership with BBC Children in Need and The Hunter Foundation, will invest up to £500,000 per partnership for delivery costs and between £85,000 and £110,000 per partnership for evaluation.
- Duration: Projects will be initially funded for 18 months. This includes up to six months preparation, including recruitment, and a 12-month implementation phase. Implementation will be evaluated through a feasibility study.
Who they are looking to fund?
- They will fund and evaluate up to five local authority area partnerships in England and/or Wales.
- Each successful partnership application will test a multi-agency team approach in two different neighbourhoods/localities within one local authority area.
- They seek applications from local authority area partnerships where the lead partner is the local authority. As a minimum, partnerships must include:
- Local authority – inclusive of early help; children’s social care; Youth Offending Team; education; youth work (where delivered by the local authority); relevant services to support young adults.
- Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) delivery partners – these may be large specialist organisations and/or local specialist grassroot organisations who are known and trusted by the communities.
- The police.
- Mental health professionals for both children and young adults.
- Education, (if not part of the local authority) including schools.
- In addition, there’s an expectation that partnerships will place a strong emphasis on involving children and young people and their parents/carers as partners in the service design, delivery and review.
- Levels of youth violence and/or youth offending.
- Number of children and young people at risk of experiencing or causing violence or criminal exploitation outside the home – including victims of violence and those who instigate violence.
- Partnership maturity
- Commitment to YEF core requirements.
- Children and young people out of scope for this round
- Children under 10 years old and young people over 20 years old.
- Children and young people at risk of other categories of extra-familial harm (EFH) – but children and young people at risk of violence or criminal exploitation AND another form of extra familial harm, are in scope for this round.
- Children and young people who access universal services and are not in need of additional support.
- Children and young people who are victims of violence where there are no other risk factors
For more information, visit Youth Endowment Fund.