£30 million boost to projects supporting vulnerable young people

Children's minister Robert Goodwill announces funding for 24 projects, as part of the Children's Social Care Innovation Programme.

A multi-million pound funding package to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people around the country was announced on Thursday, 6 July, by Robert Goodwill, Minister for Children and Families.

In his first address to the children’s social care sector since being appointed as Minister, he confirmed that 24 projects will receive a share of £30 million to take their important work forward.

The projects are part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, which is backed by £200 million of government funding. This programme has supported 95 projects to date, providing evidence of best practice that is helping to improve children’s services across the country.

In his speech at the ADCS annual conference, the Minister said:

"Through the Innovation Programme, we continue to fund exciting and pioneering projects that look to shake-up our traditional approach to social work.

"Together they proffer a broad and balanced portfolio which both test new innovations, and scale and spread those that have been successful in Round One of the programme."

The projects that have been awarded funding include Credo Care, Derby City Council, The Adolescent and Children’s Trust, Munro, Turnell & Murphy, and Barnardo’s.

Credo Care’s project, working with Hertfordshire and Staffordshire, aims to find specialist foster placements close to home for young disabled people currently living in out-of-area residential care. This new type of foster caring will focus on young people with the most complex needs.

Roy Hipkiss, Director of Credo Care, said:

"Credo Care is delighted to be included in the Innovation programme and we look forward to contributing to successful outcomes for disabled young people.

"The Specialist Foster Care Placement Project will provide foster care placements for disabled children and young people in residential care, and in doing so will change their trajectories into adulthood. The personal care offered in the foster placements will improve the quality of their lives immediately, while developing the self-care skills and supportive networks that are so difficult to provide within their residential placements."

Meanwhile another grant will go to Barnardo’s, to maintain and expand the role of the National Female Genital Mutilation Centre (NFGMC). The centre was launched in 2015 alongside the Local Government Association.

Director of the National FGM Centre, Michelle Lee-Izu said:

"Barnardo’s and the Local Government Association are delighted the government has given the National FGM Centre further funding to help wipe out this hidden form of child abuse by 2030.

"It will enable us to extend the reach and remit of the Centre’s vital work and support more girls and families in areas of both high and low prevalence of female genital mutilation.

"Since working with some local authorities that claimed to rarely come across cases of FGM, we have been supporting 198 families in these areas, which clearly demonstrates how much the FGM Centre is needed. It also shows how much more we need to do in terms of training professionals to identify girls at risk and report cases of concern.

"The funding will also allow us to extend our work to other harmful traditional practices such as breast ironing and flattening."

All of the projects which receive funding through the Innovation Programme are committed to sharing their learning with the sector, and today we are also publishing evaluation reports of some of the remaining projects from round one.

Alongside this, an evaluation report on Doncaster Children’s Services Trust is published today. This looks at the implementation and early impact on service improvement and outcomes for children since the trust was set up in 2014, finding evidence that the model is working.