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Making the evidence work for you: the Youth Endowment Fund Toolkit

When we open a newspaper or turn on the TV, all too often there’s a story of a child who’s been the victim of a fatal stabbing or a violent assault. All around our country, there are children living in fear. And it can be because of that fear that some children end up carrying knives. This cycle has to stop.  

At the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF), our mission is to stop violence before it happens. The way we do it is by finding out what works to prevent children from becoming involved. And we’re building a movement to put that knowledge into practice.   

Launched today, the YEF Toolkit is one way we’ll make sure that the best available research on preventing violence is translated into change for the children affected.    

We know that there are people all around the country working to make sure that the right services are in place to protect children from harm. You’re commissioning and leading projects in schools, mental health, youth centres, for families. So many people, including social workers, teachers, police officers, youth workers, parents and residents, are all taking part, helping to keep children safe.  

The Toolkit is here to help you do that. At the moment, the best evidence about how best to support children is often:  

  • Hard to find, across lots of different (and often complicated) websites  
  • Hard to access, hidden behind journal paywalls  
  • Hard to understand, written in complicated academic language without consideration of what the findings mean for decisions in the real world.   

That makes it hard to use the evidence to make sure children get the evidence-led services they deserve.   

The YEF Toolkit is different. It’s a free, online summary of the best available research on preventing violence. If you’re a commissioner, a youth charity leader, a manager of children’s services, a headteacher, a police officer or a practitioner, it’s for you. It’s here to help you find the right solutions to prevent violence in your community.  

If you have a problem in you school, you can see how a social skills programme might help. If you work for a Police and Crime Commissioner, you could discover how partnership approaches like focused deterrence could make a difference. If you’re a Youth Offending Team manager, you can find out how to improve a pre-court diversion to give you the best chance at reducing reoffending. It’s here to support your decision-making. To work best, it needs to be used alongside the expertise you have about what the children in your local areas need. 

It’s also important to say that the YEF Toolkit is a live resource. When we developed this first version, we worked closely with you to develop it to make sure it gives you the information you need in a way that’s easiest to find. And over time, we’ll carry on listening to your feedback so we can  keep improving it. 

As the evidence grows, we’ll add to the YEF Toolkit. We hope to work with you to rapidly improve the evidence base in England and Wales by evaluating promising programmes to find out what works. As we work with you to build the evidence, we’ll share it through the YEF Toolkit.  

By working together to grow and share the evidence, we can make sure children get the evidence-informed services they deserve.   

What should we include when we update the Toolkit? Take our quick poll. And if you have any other thoughts on what we could do to improve, please do let us know! Email our Head of Toolkit, Pete, on peter.henderson@youthendowmentfund.org.uk  

Want to find out more? You can read more about the YEF Toolkit (and how to use it) here 

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© 2021 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.
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