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In Good Hands

Investing £4.74 million to improve the life chances of looked after children in Wales
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Area:
Wales
Total available:
£4.74 million
Application deadline:
31/07/2014 12:00:00

What’s it all about?

The Big Lottery Fund is to invest £4.74 million in a programme that aims to improve the life chances of looked after children in Wales.

Our research indicates that looked after children and young people are more likely than the average child to have poor outcomes including poor educational achievement, increased likelihood of mental health problems, of becoming involved in crime and substance misuse and of becoming unemployed or homeless. A very high proportion of the prison population has had experience of the care system.

The number of children classified as “looked after” in Wales increased by 23 per cent in the five years to March 2013 to a total of 5,769, with nine per cent having three or more placements during a year. The majority (4,463) of these were in foster care placements. Studies show that the multiple and complex transitions experienced by many looked after children presents barriers and often results in the lack of a significant adult with a constant positive presence into adulthood.

As a result of our analysis, the Fund identified a need to provide early intervention support for this vulnerable group of children and young people.

What are we looking for?

In 2013, a contract was awarded to Children in Wales working in partnership with Cardiff University and Swansea University to undertake scoping work on how best to support looked after children in Wales. This work was considered by an expert advisory group made up of representatives from across the sector, with recommendations also being tested with a panel of young people with experience of the care system. Following a report and presentation of the findings, the Fund’s Wales Committee agreed to proceed with the In Good Hands programme to fund a project that will take forward specific activities to support looked after children and their carers across Wales.

In Good Hands will support one project to deliver the following over five years:

  • the phased roll out of Fostering Changes training across Wales. This training programme was developed by staff at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust (SLAM) to provide foster carers with a range of skills to support them in managing their placements.
  • follow up support groups for carers to reinforce learning along with a looked after children and young people’s skills based group to be piloted in a small number of areas.
  • a discreet feasibility study conducted on the delivery of the Fostering Healthy Futures programme as an alternative method of directly supporting looked after children and young people.  This programme was developed and tested in Colorado and involves the provision of both skills groups for looked after children aged 9 to 11 and an associated mentoring programme.
  • a robust evaluation of each element of the programme.

Read the full scoping report, which contains information on each of the models.

View the programme diagram, which demonstrates what the successful project will be expected to deliver.

Who can apply?

This programme is only open to third sector organisations.

Public and private sector organisations including academic institutions may be involved as delivery partners, but the lead applicant must be from the third sector. You will need to work closely with statutory services, such as local authority social services departments, in order to be able to deliver a successful project.

Am I eligible to apply?

We want to make sure you do not use your time and resources unnecessarily, so we have compiled an eligibility checklist to help you decide whether to apply.

  1. Can you demonstrate you have the capacity and sector knowledge to enable you to deliver a project of this size across Wales?
  2. Do you have experience of managing robust evaluations?
  3. Is your organisation able to demonstrate a successful track record of project management and partnership working?
  4. Does your organisation have experience of working with young people who are looked after?
  5. Are you a voluntary and community sector organisation?

If you can not confidently answer yes to all of these questions then this funding may not be right for you. Visit www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/fundingfinder to find out what other funding is available.

If you are successful, please note than under the terms and conditions of the award you will be required to:

  • Deliver the project in compliance with the Fund’s Welsh language policy, managing the translation of all materials in to Welsh and ensuring that training can be accessed in Welsh or English when required.
  • Have policies and procedures in place relating to safeguarding the children and young people you will work with, which you review at least every year.
  • Share your learning with us and others.
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