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Another chance – Diversion from the criminal justice system

New £20 million fund launched

Entry deadline:
14th May 2021

Read our FAQs .

Please note – this grant round has now closed for applications.


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.

We know that sometimes, children need another chance: alternatives to arrest, conviction and custody.

Diversion programmes help them do that, whether it’s through mental health support, whole family interventions or mentoring (for example). They all tend to offer support at key turning points. That might be at point of arrest, before court action is taken or when a child sustains a serious injury because they’ve been involved in a violent assault.

The question we’re aiming to answer:

Which diversion approaches work best at preventing 10 to 17-year-olds from 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’re looking to fund projects that meet all of the following criteria:

  • Diversionary programmes that provide:
    (a) Family and parenting support
    (b) Mental health and therapeutic support
    (c) Restorative justice
  • Other approaches if they can demonstrate scale and evidence of impact.
  • Programmes that involve a referral by a relevant statutory body, for example:
    (a) Police
    (b) Violence Reduction Unit
    (c) Local Authority Youth Offending Team
    (d) Acute healthcare trust

    But programmes may be provided by charities, public services, or private sector organisations.
  • 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.
  • Programmes that require a pilot study, but that could be ready for an efficacy and/or effectiveness trial within two years.

Why we’re investing in diversion

Through our conversations with stakeholders, you were clear that we should learn more about what makes a diversion programme effective. And there’s promising evidence that these approaches are effective at preventing reoffending and reducing the risk of involvement in violence. However, the evidence is mainly from the United States and more is needed on programmes run in the UK.


19 April 2021
Online applications open
14 May 20221
Applications close
30 June 2021
Shortlisted applicants informed
July – October 2021
Shortlisted applicants co-design programme with evaluators
November 2021
Grants awarded
© 2021 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.
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