The Home Office has launched a new £13 million fund to help youth workers, police, nurses and other professionals form close, protective relationships with children and young people aged 10 – 17 at risk of sexual exploitation, gang crime or relationship abuse.
The Trusted Relationships Fund will shortly invite local authorities to apply for funding to run projects aimed at fostering relationships between frontline staff and at-risk children. Through the fund, local authorities are encouraged to work with local partners to improve the way professionals, including social workers, youth workers, police and voluntary sector practitioners, work together to support vulnerable young people.
Local authorities will be asked to design projects that fit their needs. But the projects could see frontline workers organising or becoming involved with
- Establishing a safe space where young people can share their concerns with professionals who will listen to them
- Providing specialist counselling services
- Delivering positive activities including sport, music, arts and volunteering
- Improving the way local organisations work together to support the most vulnerable young people
- Working with children who repeatedly go missing to ensure that they are kept safe and well
There will be a two-stage application process for the fund. Local authorities in England are eligible to be lead bidders and are encouraged to work with local partners in developing and delivering projects, which could include other statutory organisations, the voluntary and community sector and the private sector.