Monday, 28 November 2016


The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has created a new £800,000 fund to support local areas in England and Wales that are seeking to develop a joined-up, multi agency approach to improve support for female offenders and other women with complex needs who may be at risk of offending.
£200,000 will be available in each of the financial years from 2016 to 2017 through to 2019 to 2020. The maximum grant is likely to be in the region of £70,000.
Bids can be made for funding over two or more years. Bids will also be considered for one-year funding in 2016 to 2017, to support preparatory work in areas that are at the early stages of development. All funding must be spent in the financial year that it is allocated.
Projects must start by 1 March 2017 and deliver a sustainable, embedded multi-agency service to provide effective support to female offenders throughout their offender journey, and to women at risk of offending, including serious offending.
Whole System Approach (WSA - a useful explanation can be found HERE) models should identify, address and suggest solutions to barriers to female offenders (and other women with complex needs) from engaging effectively with services, which may include a single needs assessment, sequencing access to services, data sharing between agencies, and shared budgets/outcomes.
This may be slightly out of date, but the MoJ has a guide to working with women offenders. Called 'A Distict Approach', the guide is available via this LINK.
To be eligible, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
1. The applicant should demonstrate how the project will establish a sustainable multi-agency approach to support female offenders throughout their offender journey, which will enable the delivery of the key aims of the whole system approach, namely:
o Targeted support for female offenders and those at risk of offending, many of whom are vulnerable and have complex needs;
o Reductions in the reoffending rate of female offenders, including women assessed as high risk;
o Reductions in the number of women going to court;
o Reductions in the number of women going to prison on short sentences;
o Wider social benefits, including reductions in demand on services and the potential impact of chaotic lifestyles on children, through improved outcomes for identified needs amongst this cohort (e.g. domestic violence and sexual abuse; mental and other health issues; substance misuse; accommodation; finance and debt; education/training needs and employment; learning difficulties and disabilities issues); 
2. Funding should be used to help unlock further financial investment and other support to establish and embed a whole system approach for female offenders that is scale-able and sustainable; 
3. Projects should be transformative in the local area (ie, funding should be used to provide additionality rather than to support current work, unless it will test a new way of working or other new element), and should contribute to early intervention and diversion out of the criminal justice system or custody, where appropriate; 
4 Applications should set out how lessons learnt and outcomes for the women supported will be captured and shared with the Ministry of Justice and other local areas to inform understanding of what works, value for money, and good practice; 
5. Projects must engage with the Ministry of Justice’s Justice Data Lab (JDL) to measure the local WSA’s impact on proven reoffending, where the JDL team deem this feasible; and
6. Bids should set out the strength and breadth of local partnerships. They should evidence the ability of the applicant/lead delivery agency to lead development of a multi-agency approach and to gain buy-in from other partners, including the voluntary and community sector, and key statutory partners such as local authorities, health providers, the police, Police and Crime Commissioners, the National Probation Service, Community Rehabilitation Companies; women’s prisons and Job Centres.
An application form and the guidance document, which provides further details of the scheme, eligibility criteria and advice for applicants, can be found on the GOV.UK website.
The completed application form must be returned by email to the Female Offender Policy Team. The forms should be completed electronically, printed and then signed manually. Scanned copies should then be returned via email in PDF format. Forms that have not been completed electronically will not be accepted. 
The application deadline is 12 noon on Monday 30 January.
Contact details for the Fund are:
The Female Offender Policy Team
The Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
London SW1H 9AJ
Tel: 020 3334 3555
(Source: GRIN)

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