Press release

Government backs projects to help safeguard vulnerable children

Nine projects have been awarded share of grant worth more than £2 million.

lonely young boy

Nine projects with ambitious plans to tackle specific forms of abuse affecting children have been awarded a share of government grant funding in 2016 to 2018, worth more than £2 million.

While for many families the Christmas holidays are an exciting time, for some they bring an added threat of fear and abuse, as families spend more time together in close proximity. This time of year regularly sees a seasonal spike in domestic violence incidents reported to the police.

The grant funding from the Department for Education will support a range of projects, including a programme in Dorset run by the Children’s Society providing intensive support for almost 200 children and young people who have lived through issues relating to domestic violence and parental substance misuse.

The Tavistock Relationships project, based in London, will intervene with high-risk families experiencing repeated domestic violence, as well as training frontline workers in how to keep children safe.

And in Kent, Home Start UK will run a project to tackle domestic abuse and substance misuse aimed at fathers in low-income families to help prevent abuse and improve their involvement in parenting.

Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening said:

This funding will help us to support families that have experienced domestic violence, as well as helping to prevent abuse occurring in future. It’s people working with the most vulnerable in our society on the ground who are often best placed to trial new approaches to keeping them safe, and these 9 projects can make a real difference.

The projects will work directly with children, young people and their families, as well as schools, communities and social care professionals. Three projects will use the funding to tackle radicalisation in London, Lancashire and Walsall, 2 projects will address safeguarding young girls from female genital mutilation (FGM). The organisations are:

  • Midaye Somali Development Network
  • Foundation for Women’s Health Research Development (FORWARD)
  • Street Teams
  • Victim Support
  • Kidscape
  • Sheffield Futures
  • Home Start UK
  • The Church of England Children’s Society
  • Tavistock Relationships

Chief Operating Officer for The Children’s Society, Val Floy, said:

We are delighted to have been awarded funding to deliver ‘Reveal’, which will support children living in families affected by both substance misuse and domestic violence. This is a fantastic opportunity to deliver a pioneering service and make long-term sustainable improvements to the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people in the Dorset area.

Kidscape’s Director of Services, Peter Bradley said:

Our Extremism and Radicalisation Awareness programme builds upon our current safeguarding work in educational settings. We’re passionate about children’s safety and have been concerned for some time about young people who may be vulnerable to extremist ideologies. This new project will mean we are able to safeguard those young people who previously had little or no support.

Notes to editors

Here’s additional detail on the 9 chosen projects.

Domestic abuse, drug and alcohol misuse
Church of England Children’s Society To provide intensive support to 175 children and young people who have experienced issues relating to domestic violence and parental substance misuse. Working with 58 families who deal with issues of domestic violence and substance misuse and working with perpetrators. Training 150 professionals who work with children in the educational, social care, health and policing sectors. The project will cover the county of Dorset.
Home Start UK The project will address the issue of domestic abuse, drugs and alcohol misuse through delivery of a project aimed at fathers in low-income families. To target fathers with young children aged between 0 and 11 years old to improve their involvement in parenting and family life and crucially to help prevent key factors implicated in abuse. The project will be based in Shepway, Kent.
Sheffield Futures To develop a youth-worker-led group work programmes for schools and community groups where unhealthy relationships, low-level child sexual exploitation, gang activity, negative peer groups, and domestic abuse has been identified as an issue. These will be evidence-based programmes which use resilience-based methodology to change attitudes and behaviours. The project will be targeted in Sheffield.
Tavistock Relationships Delivery of an intervention to high-risk families in which domestic violence is a persistent factor, to improving overall workforce skills to increase effectiveness in safeguarding children and young people. Working with up to 30 families, training up to 90 front-line practitioners and advanced training of up to 8 qualified clinicians in the delivery of a mentalisation-based treatment intervention for parents and couples where violence and abuse dominates family life. Project based in London.
Kidscape The project will equip young people with a better understanding and ability to discuss radicalisation. It will support secondary schools to embed preventing radicalisation and extremism into their safeguarding policies and discuss these in the community. Targeted at year 9 schoolchildren, and to train teachers in this approach (complementing prevent training) and assist those teachers as they run their own sessions with pupils. It will be targeted at schools in prevent tier 1 boroughs in London.
Street Teams To raise the capacity of education professionals and community leaders to identify and address indications of potential radicalisation of young people, as well as making young people aware of the risks. To be delivered through training pupils in over 50 schools in Walsall, training around 350 education professionals, and a number of other events.
Victim Support Based in Lancashire, the project will upskill 30 diverse young leaders, to work with project staff to involve a wide range of young people, their parents’ and communities’ voices and experiences to identify; how vulnerable young people feel in relation to being groomed and recruited into radicalised activity; what skills and information would help them divert from and resist these recruitment activities; and how schools, parents and wider communities can best identify and protect young people. A range of products and materials will be developed for local and national dissemination.  
Female genital mutilation
Midaye Somali Development Network To safeguard girls from FGM, through raising the engagement of relevant communities with statutory services, and increasing the capacity of professionals in statutory services to work effectively with members of affected communities (5 London boroughs and 2 other areas).
FORWARD To safeguard girls and young women from gender-based violence, particularly FGM and forced marriage, through engagement with schools, raising the awareness of professionals in relevant sectors, and strengthening both multi-agency collaboration and community engagement (London, Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle and Bristol).

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Published 28 December 2016