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Themed grant round

A supportive home – helping families to overcome challenges

Run in partnership with Comic Relief. Applications open in September 2021.

Our September 2021 themed grant round, in partnership with Comic Relief.


The Youth Endowment Fund exists to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. We do this by finding out what works and building a movement to put this knowledge into practice.

Having a supportive home helps to keep children safe from involvement in violence. Where children live in homes where there’s conflict or domestic abuse, alcohol or substance misuse or where other family members are involved in crime, they’re at higher risk.

That’s why we want to invest in programmes that support families. And that includes building our understanding of what works for children in the care system, who’re significantly overrepresented in the youth justice system.

The question we’re aiming to answer:

Which approaches are most effective in helping families and carers to create a supportive home environment for 6 to 14 year-old children (including looked-after children), reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence?

What we’re aiming to invest in

We’ll aim to identify around 10-20 programmes that are ready for robust impact evaluation or could be supported to reach this point within two years. We will look to spend between £10 million and £20 million depending on the quality of the applications.

Scope of programmes we’ll fund in this round

We are likely to be interested in funding and evaluating programmes where the evidence of positive impacts on children is promising. This may include activities like:

  • Family counselling
  • Therapy approaches
  • Workshops for the whole family
  • Support programmes for parents
  • Support programmes for foster families and looked-after children

Working with you to make the right decisions

With our partners Comic Relief, we’ll be involving young people with lived experience of crime and violence to help us develop the scope of this themed grant round. We’ll also be talking to people working with children and families, people who commission services for families and experts on family-focused programmes.

Alongside further research, speaking to you will help us make sure that we develop the right criteria for this round. We’ll publish more information in July 2021.

Why we’re focusing on this area

Our conversations with people working to keep children safe – and young people themselves – made it clear that we should focus on helping families. There’s also clear evidence that family support could be effective. But lots of the evidence is international rather than UK-based, and many of the underlying studies have limitations.

By funding programmes in England and Wales, we can build our knowledge of how best to support families, foster carers and children’s homes so that children have a supportive home.

Partnership with Comic Relief

Comic Relief are investing £2 million to help us find out how high-quality family support can help children who are most at risk of becoming involved in violence.

We want to thank Comic Relief for supporting this important area of work.


More information on the application process and guidance will be available when we publish the final scope of this round in August 2021. For more information, you can read our prospectus (for the Welsh version, click here).

April – July 2021
Scoping workshops
We’ll run a series of online workshops with people and organisations working in this area and with young people with experience of crime and violence. If you’d like to know more about how you can take part in these discussions, please email
August 2021
Scope of round announced
August – September 2021
Application workshops
September 2021
Online applications open
November 2021
Shortlisted applicants informed
November 2021 – February 2022
Shortlisted applicants co-design programmes and evaluations with evaluators
March 2022
Grants awarded
© 2021 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.
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