Themed grant round: Another chance - Diversion from the criminal justice system
New £20 million fund launched - applications open 19 April 2021
Our April 2021 themed grant round:


Another chance – Diversion from the criminal justice system


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  through this grant round is:


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:

  1. Your project supports children (aged 10 – 17 living in England and Wales) identified at one of four turning point moments before court action is taken for a crime:

(a) Not yet arrested but identified by police or other statutory bodies as at high risk of becoming involved in crime

(b) At point of injury due to a violent incident

(c) At point of arrest

(d) Prior to charge and court action (often referred to as out of court disposals)


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. Programmes that require a pilot study, but that could be ready for an efficacy and/or effectiveness trial within two years.

For more information on the different types of evaluation, please read this useful guide from the Early Intervention Foundation.


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.


Our grant round ‘Another chance: Diversion from the criminal justice system’ opens for applications on 19 April 2021.

Timeline for applicants


Grant round workshops: March – April 2021

We’ll be running a series of online workshops for organisations interested in becoming a YEF partner in this grant round. To register, please click on your preferred date and time below. You can also email Antoinette by clicking here.


10:00-11:00am Wed 17 March

5:00-6:00pm  Thurs 25 March


Dedicated workshop for Welsh organisations: 12:00-1:00pm Mon 12 April


Online applications open: 19 April 2021


Application close: 14 May 2021


Shortlisted applicants informed: 30 June 2021


Shortlisted applicants co-design programme with evaluators: July – October 2021


Grants awarded: November 2021


We’ll launch full guidance on how to apply for this round in April 2021. For more information you can read our prospectus (for the Welsh version, click here).

Have a question?


Please read our FAQs here.

Grant round workshops (March – April 2021)


Join our online workshops to find out more about what we’re aiming to fund, the application process and how we evaluate our funded projects.


To register, please click on your chosen date and time below.


10:00-11:00am Wed 17 March

5:00-6:00pm  Thurs 25 March


Dedicated workshop for Welsh organisations: 12:00-1:00pm Mon 12 April


© 2020 The Youth Endowment Fund Charitable Trust. Registered Charity Number: 1185413.