Barnardo's FGM centre among recipients of £30m innovation funding

By Neil Puffett

| 06 July 2017

A national centre that helps children affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) is among 24 projects to share £30m of funding from the Department for Education's innovation fund, it has been announced.

Children's minister Robert Goodwill will announce £30m of innovation funding for 24 projects. Picture: Department for Transport

The National FGM Centre, which is run jointly by the Local Government Association and children's charity Barnardo's, was established in March 2015 with £2.1m funding from the Department for Education's Children's Social Care Innovation programme.

Just two months ago concerns were raised about the future of the centre if it did not receive more money from central government.

But children's minister Robert Goodwill will confirm later that it will receive additional money to continue its work.

Other projects to receive funding through the scheme include those run by Derby City Council, The Adolescent and Children's Trust, and Munro, Turnell & Murphy Child Protection Consulting, which is introducing the Signs of Safety practice model across a number of local authorities.

Funding will also be provided for a project run by Credo Care, which will work with Hertfordshire County Council and Staffordshire County Council to find specialist foster placements close to home for young disabled people currently living in out-of-area residential care.

The innovation fund was initially launched in 2013. It is worth a total of £200m for the four-year period 2016 to 2020.

Goodwill, who is due to announce the funding during a speech at the ADCS annual conference today, is expected to say: 
"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."

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."

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