The Youth Endowment Fund aims to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence by helping families and carers (defined by the funder as "anyone who plays a long-term supportive role in a child's life", which could also include extended family members or kinship networks, foster families and children's homes). The programme seeks to create a supportive home environment for 6-14-year-old children (or children aged up to 18 years old if they're in the care system), reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence. The Fund’s overarching aim is to discover which approaches are most effective in providing the support young people at risk need. The Fund, which has between £5 and £10 million to allocate, is seeking to identify around 5-10 programmes to grant aid and evaluate.
The current round, which has the title “A Supportive Home – Helping Families Overcome Challenges” is being provided in partnership with Comic Relief, which has invested £2 million in the programme. The funders will specifically be looking for applications that help answer the following question:
"Which approaches are most effective in helping families and carers to create a supportive home environment for 6-14-year-old children (including looked-after children), reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence?"
The "Supportive Home" round is focused around 4 themes:
1. Domestic abuse interventions, which are specifically designed to prevent and reduce harm to children and adults.
2. Family therapy interventions (including for children in foster care), which offer whole families structured forms of therapy.
3. Parenting programmes (including programmes for foster carers or people working with children in residential care), which help parents and their children to develop positive behaviours and relationships, and
4. Programmes to reduce parental conflict, which are specifically designed to improve relationships between parents or carers.
Grants are available across the following two activity groups:
o Family therapy interventions (including for looked after children), which offer structured forms of therapy that takes place between a trained therapist and the family, and
o Parent education and training interventions (including for looked after children) that focus on helping parents or carers and their children to develop positive behaviours and relationships.
In this group eligible programmes should fit into one of the following categories for evaluation:
A. Programmes that have sufficient scale and evidence of impact to run a large-scale efficacy and/or effectiveness evaluation, through a randomised control trial or quasi-experimental design method.
B. Programmes that require a pilot study to demonstrate they're likely to make an impact, but that could be scaled for an efficacy and/or effectiveness study within two years.
o Domestic abuse interventions, which are specifically designed to prevent and reduce harm to adults, and often to mitigate the impact of exposure to domestic abuse on children, and
o Parental conflict interventions, which are specifically designed to improve relationships between parents.
In this group, in addition to programmes ready to run a pilot or efficacy study as in group the funders will also consider programmes that require a feasibility/pilot study first to demonstrate that they have the potential to reduce the likelihood of children becoming involved in violence (for example, by reducing aggression or substance misuse). This may involve refining the project's theory of change. These programmes should be established enough to be able to run a pilot or efficacy study after a year.
For all programmes, to ensure that work is being focused on the children who are most in need of support, funding will be available for projects working with children who:
o Abuse or misuse substances, or have a substance misuse disorder.
o Are showing early signs of, or who have developed challenges with their behaviour or their ability to regulate their emotions.
o Experience maltreatment or neglect from a parent or other family member.
o Have committed an offence, and/or
o Have experience of the care system. We’ll fund projects working with whole families, who might not be able to provide a supportive home.
This includes families where:
o Parents, carers or siblings abuse or misuse substances.
o Parents, carers or siblings are involved in crime.
o Parents have not had opportunities or support to develop positive relationships with their children.
o Parents or carers are struggling with their mental health and wellbeing, and/or
o There is family conflict (for example, where there is domestic violence or where conflict means parents are unable to offer emotional support to children).
Funding is not available for:
o Approaches helping families where there isn't any strong evidence of a positive change for children which is associated with a reduction in involvement in violence.
o Domestic abuse interventions that focus on the perpetrator and don't work children or other family members who have experienced or witnessed domestic abuse.
o Group A programmes that don’t have sufficient scale and are not likely to be ready within two years to enable a more robust evaluation.
o Group B programmes that don’t have sufficient scale and are not likely to be ready for a pilot/efficacy study within a year.
o Group B relationship interventions that aren't focused on parents.
o Other approaches helping families where working with adults isn't likely to be related to children's involvement in violence in the future.
o Programmes that have no existing theory of change or evidence base.
o Support programmes that aren't targeted at the children and families most in need of additional support, or
o Unregistered groups.
Organisations interested in the upcoming grant round can register via the Youth Endowment Fund website to attend one of the following Application Workshops to find out more about the programme:
o Wednesday 6 October (4-5pm).
o Thursday 21 October (12-1pm).
o Monday 8 November (10.30-11.30am), or
o Thursday 25 November (12-1pm).
Further information, guidance and details about how to apply is available on the Youth Endowment Fund website.
The deadline for applications is Wednesday 1st December 2021.