YJB looks to access £200m social care innovation fund

Neil Puffett
Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The quango in charge of youth justice is intent on bidding for cash from the Department for Education's social care innovation fund, it has emerged.

Funding for youth offending teams was cut by 12 per cent last month. Picture: Tom Campbell. Posed by model
Funding for youth offending teams was cut by 12 per cent last month. Picture: Tom Campbell. Posed by model

The Youth Justice Board (YJB) has called on organisations in the sector to partner up with it to apply for the funding, which is worth a total of £200m for the period up to 2020.

“We are keen to support partners (including local authority, third sector or private sector) who are making innovative proposals that will improve delivery in youth justice and for which the YJB will be able to add value,” the YJB's monthly bulletin states.

“We are particularly able to add value in one of the key characteristics required for successful bids – dissemination of effective practice.”

The two policy areas for the 2016 to 2018 phase of the social care innovation fund are "rethinking children’s social care", and "rethinking transitions to adulthood for young people in the social care system".

The YJB adds that areas in which it may also be able to add value include quality assurance, providing data to assess impact, sharing knowledge of what may be effective in working with children and young people, signposting other similar projects, providing data to help build the business case, and endorsing proposals.

The call from the YJB comes after recent news of cuts for youth offending teams (YOTs). Last month the YJB confirmed that the annual grant it provides to YOTs has been reduced by 12 per cent for 2016/17, from £76.1m to £67m, a total cut of £9.1m.

Last month a review of the justice system in relation to children in care, established by the Prison Reform Trust and conducted by Lord Laming, calculated that around half of the children currently in custody in England and Wales have been in care at some point.

Projects previously funded through the innovation programme have included the tri-borough councils of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster, which received £4m to “completely redesign” the delivery of children’s social care.

Meanwhile, the Hackney-based Pause Project, which helps women who have had successive children taken into care, was given £3m to expand the programme to other authorities.

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