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Our prospectus – FAQs

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1. Another chance: Diversion from the criminal justice system 

When will your next grant round open and how can I find out more?

Our Another chance – diversion from the criminal justice system grant round will open for applications on Monday 19 April 2021. To find out more about what we’re looking to fund, please click here.

We’ll publish detailed guidance on how to apply in April.

In March and April, we’ll also be hosting a series of online workshops for organisations interested in applying. We’ll provide more details about the round, explain our application process and evaluation requirements, and answer any questions you may have.

To watch a recording of one of our grant round workshops, please click here.

When will I be able to see the application form?

The application will be available from the 19 April 2021

Is your diversion from the criminal justice system grant round right for our organisation and should we apply?

In this grant round we’re looking to fund and learn from diversion programmes that meet the criteria outlined in our prospectus. These programmes can be provided by any organisation – including charities, public services or the private sector. However, you must:

  • receive referrals from a relevant statutory service (for example, the police, schools, local youth offending team or social care)
  • deliver your programme to children in England and / or Wales

We recognise the time and effort that goes into completing funding applications, so strongly recommend that prospective applicants check they meet all the criteria before applying, to make sure that this is the right round for you.

We know that some organisations won’t be ready to be partners in our themed grant rounds, because we’ll prioritise projects that are already delivering and can be evaluated using methods like randomised control trials (RCTs) within two years. But our theme grant rounds aren’t the only way we’ll try to make a difference to children and young people. To find out more about the other ways you could work with us please see our prospectus.

What support will there be to help me make an application?

To help organisations apply for funding from the Youth Endowment Fund, we’ll publish full guidance for our next grant round in April. This will include:

  • Question-by-question guidance for the application form.
  • Details of how our evaluations will work and what to expect as a YEF-funded project.
  • Details of how our application process will work and how we’ll work with you at an early stage to co-design the evaluation for your project.

Ahead of applications opening on 19 April 2021, we’re also hosting a series of online workshops for organisations interested in applying. We’ll provide more details about the round, explain our application process and evaluation requirements, and answer any questions you may have.

To watch a recording of one of our grant round workshops, please click here.

2. Themed grant rounds

When will grant rounds for your other themes open?

In September 2021, we’ll open our second themed grant round A supportive home – helping families overcome challenges. This will focus on finding out which approaches are most effective in helping families and carers to create a supportive home environment for 6 to 14 year-olds (including looked-after children), reducing the likelihood of them becoming involved in violence.

We’ll publish more information about the scope of the round in August.

When will you release more themed rounds?

We’ll open one or two themed grant rounds per year – each will explore an area of interest linked to one of our themes. These will run alongside our Neighbourhood Fund, Agency Collaboration Fund and funding for targeted projects.

You can read more about our other funds in our prospectus.

My work covers more than one of your funding themes, which grant round should I apply or wait for?

We recognise that the work of organisations may not always fit neatly within just one of our funding themes. To provide clarity for prospective applicants, for each grant round we’ll publish guidance clearly outlining the types of approaches and programmes we’re interested in funding.

For Another chance – diversion from the criminal justice system, we’ll publish full guidance in April.

What will you look for in applications to the two grant rounds you’ve announced?

In our themed grant rounds, we’ll prioritise applications from projects that are already delivering, are supported by some kind of evidence that they work and are ready for robust evaluation. This will improve our knowledge and understanding of what works to prevent children becoming involved in violence and help ensure every child gets the best possible support.

These requirements do mean that these grant rounds won’t be quite right for every organisation. But we are working on other funding areas ways to get involved in our work. For further details, please see our prospectus.

How much money is a typical grant worth?

In this round, we’re looking to spend between £10 million to £20 million on funding 10 to 20 projects. The amount we award to each project will depend on the type of programme and the kind of evaluation.

We’re expecting to make quite large grants. That’s because, in our themed grant rounds, we’re looking to fund projects that are:

  • already delivering their programme to young people
  • ready for robust evaluation, or will be within two years

How did you decide on these grant rounds?

We’re here to improve the lives of children and young people. We’re building all of our work around a set of themes – the conditions that we think children and young people need in their lives to keep them safe from becoming involved in violence.

This set of themes provide a focus for the knowledge we want to build about what works to help put these conditions in place for every child and young person. Each themed grant round will explore an area of interest linked to one of the themes.

  • Our first themed grant round will open for applications in April. The theme will be giving children and young people another chance. The specific area of interest for the round will be diversion from the criminal justice system.
  • In September we will open our second themed grant round. The theme will be making sure children have a supportive home. The specific area of interest will be helping families to overcome challenges.

To develop these themes, we asked everyone working to keep children and young people safe to shape our future. Over 450 of you – including teachers, community and youth workers, police officers to social workers – shared your ideas and experiences.

We made sure that we heard from young people too. Working with our partners at Leaders Unlocked, we spoke to young people with lived experience of violence and the youth justice system.

We also looked at the evidence, which shows us some of the things that can help to protect children from involvement in crime.

We know that, over time, evidence might change. And your views – and young people’s – might not always stay the same. So, over the life of the fund, we’ll keep revisiting these themes to make sure they’re right. We’ll keep listening to you and adapting. Because to get this right, we need to work together.

I attended one of your roundtables last year, where can I find out about the outcomes of these sessions?

We want to thank everyone who took part in our roundtables. Your insight has been invaluable. Thanks to you, we’ve made some significant improvements to the way we’ll do things – from a specific grant round investing £20 million in family support programmes to ringfenced funding for Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led organisations.

You can read about how your feedback shaped our thinking and decisions, in our Turning what we heard into action report.

3. Evaluation

What does the evaluation mean?

We’ll evaluate every project we fund. This means that – along with funding to deliver your activities – we’ll commission an independent research organisation to measure your programme’s impact. We do this because we want to understand what interventions work to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence, for whom and why.

If you’re applying for funding, you don’t need to worry about factoring in the evaluation costs into your bid. We’ll look after commissioning the evaluation and matching you with the right research partner. As evaluations are such an important part of our work, we want to get it right. That’s why if your application is shortlisted, we’ll ask you to work with to co-design the evaluation for your project.

You’ll be able to find out more about our application process as part of our published grant round guidance (for Another chance: diversion from the criminal justice system, this will be on 19 April).

In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about the different types of evaluation, the Early Intervention Foundation has produced this useful guide.

How do you choose evaluation partners, and how are they matched with a project?

Evaluators are appointed through a competitive process and are eligible to apply if they are part of our evaluator panel. In the first instance they will be invited to submit and expression of interest to lead on the evaluation of a specific project. If shortlisted, they will then be invited to submit full evaluation proposals.

The successful candidates will be appointed based on a range of factors including the capability and relevant experience and knowledge of the project team, the quality of methodology and approach, and value for money.

Why do you want to focus on randomised control trials? It seems unfair on young people who need help and may end up in a control group.   

This is an understandable concern. However, it is also unfair on young people to work with them without properly testing whether we are helping them rather than making things worse. Just as we benefit from robust trials in medicine, young people deserve the support that they receive to be properly evaluated. We believe that using randomised control trials are a critical way for us to make sure that children get the right services. By following two groups of children (one where children take part in a project and one where they don’t), we can truly understand whether the programme works.  

In our later years, we plan to use our funding to fund activities that have been proven to help children in this way. 

For more information, watch the video on our approach to evaluation.

4. Our other work

Which regions will your place-based work cover?

Our place-based work will initially focus on five geographical areas where there are high levels of serious youth violence. These areas are currently being finalised and will be announced later this year.

How can I apply for your ringfenced funding for Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led organisations?

As part of our commitment to equality, we’ve ringfenced £5 – 10 million over the next three years to fund Black, Asian and minority-ethnic led charities that are working to prevent children and young people from becoming involved in violence. We’ll share more details of how we’ll allocate this funding soon.

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