Youth Endowment Fund opens applications to £20 million fund to keep children and young people out of the criminal justice system
Today, the Youth Endowment Fund’s (YEF) have opened applications for an innovative new fund of up to £20 million, to find out how diversion programmes can keep children out of the criminal justice system.
Founded in 2019 with a £200 million endowment from the Home Office, the YEF is here to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence. They do this by finding out what works and building a movement to put this knowledge into practice.
Through the grant round they’ve opened today, the YEF will invest in a range of diversion activities like mental health support, whole family interventions or mentoring. They’ll fund great projects that show promise, so that they can understand how offering alternatives to arrest, conviction and custody to children who’ve offended can sustainably prevent them from becoming involved in violence later in their lives.
Their commitment to the evidence – as well as funding projects – is why the YEF will invest in rigorous evaluation. By improving our understanding of which programmes work and by helping organisations put it into practice, the YEF will help prevent children and young people in England and Wales from becoming involved in violence.
Later this year, the YEF will open another grant round, which is also worth up to £20 million, taking their total investment to £40 million in 2021. They’ll use it to find out how helping families can support children and young people who are at risk of becoming involved in violence. To make sure they’re funding the right projects, they’ll be working closely with professionals in social work, family support and education – as well as young people – to learn more.
This hugely welcome funding will keep more children safe from violence. With it the Youth Endowment Fund will be able to fund and find some of the very best ways of making England and Wales an even safer place to grow up. This money also makes it possible to robustly test what makes the most difference. This means that this money won’t just help in the short run, it can make a difference for years to come.Jon Yates, Executive Director of the Youth Endowment Fund