Children`s fund set to finance youth crime prevention initiative

The children’s fund will have to meet the cost of a youth
crime prevention initiative announced two years ago.

The Children and Young People’s Unit (CYPU) is to
distribute £380 million to local partnerships in England over
the next three years with the aim of preventing social exclusion
among children aged five to 13.

But guidance issued last week revealed that each area piloting
the home office’s On Track programme would have to dig into
its share of the children’s fund for the £400,000 per
year cost of piloting the On Track scheme.

The guidance to local authorities, published by the CYPU says
from April 2001 “the On Track programme will be
incorporated into the children’s fund” adding “the costs of
the On Track services and arrangements will be met from
the overall sum available to your area”.

Of the 40 areas, 12 selected for the first wave of
children’s fund money are also piloting the On Track
programme, which was announced by home office minister Paul Boateng
at the Community Care Live conference in December 1999.

Althea Efunshile, who heads the Children and Young
People’s Unit, told a conference that local authorities would
be expected to act in a facilitating role in the multi-agency local
partnerships charged with planning preventive services for
children, young people and their families.

She said the unit would want evidence of young people being
involved in an on-going basis in the planning of services, adding
that the CYPU was itself establishing a reference group of about
100 young people to advise Boateng, who is also the minister for
children and young people,.

The children’s fund will be available to support some
preventive activity across the whole of England by April 2004. The
CYPU has already written to chief executives in the first wave of
40 local authorities invited to submit proposals for a
children’s fund allocation.

The eventual allocation will be based on the numbers of children
in poverty in the area, but also on the quality of the proposals.
From the first wave, Birmingham for example could be eligible for
£18 million, Kent more than £11 million, Tower Hamlets
more than £5 million, and Hartlepool £1.5 million.

Efunshile also said the CYPU had a general remit to assemble
knowledge on children, and young people and to develop and refine
the government’s strategy for those groups.

Efunshile delivered both her own keynote speech at the
conference in London organised jointly by the Association of
Directors of Social Services, the UK Initiative and the Children
and Young People’s Unit, and also read a speech scheduled to
be given by Boateng who had been called away to an urgent

On his behalf she announced that the CYPU would be developing a
new database of good practice on family support, and would be
establishing “core principles” for government to follow for the
involvement of young people in the planning, development and
evaluation of services.

Children’s Fund Part 2 Guidance, available on



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