Victim Support Schemes: Finance

Home Office written question – answered on 24th September 2020.

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Photo of Lord Pendry Lord Pendry Labour

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the announcement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government on 2 May of £76 million extra funding to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and vulnerable children and their families and victims of modern slavery, when that funding will be fully rolled out to those in need.

Photo of Baroness Williams of Trafford Baroness Williams of Trafford The Minister of State, Home Department

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) secured a £10 million fund for the provision of safe accommodation for domestic abuse victims and their children, which was first opened for applications on 7 May. Just over £8.7 million has already been paid to 122 successful charities. On 16 September MHCLG announced the final stage of the fund, with £971,207 allocated to 25 more successful charity bids. In total, the MHCLG £10 million Domestic Abuse COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund will re-open up to 344 bedspaces which were closed due to Covid-19 and will create up to 1,546 additional bedspaces.

The Ministry of Justice allocated £25 million to support local charities across England and Wales which support victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, and £3 million to recruit more Independent Sexual Violence Advisers (ISVAs). To date, over £22 million of that has been distributed for 548 charities in England and Wales, £19.5 million to Police and Crime Commissioners and £2.6 million via the Rape Support Fund. £3.6 million has been allocated to PCCs for 95 ISVAs. The remainder of the funds will be distributed in due course.

The Home Office received a £2 million fund to support national and regional charities in England and Wales which support victims of domestic abuse. £1.7 million has been allocated to 28 domestic abuse services. Almost all charities have been paid at least 50% of their allocations, with the remaining funds to be paid later in the funding period.

The Home Office received £1.76 million of funding for modern slavery services, to support those organisations which work directly with victims in the Victim Care Contract (VCC). On 5 May the Home Office informed The Salvation Army, as the Prime Contractor of the VCC, of the funding available to them and sub-contracting organisations. This funding, rather than being disbursed via grant mechanisms, is being drawn down through existing contractual invoicing processes as required to meet additional costs related to the provision of victim support during the pandemic.

A total of £34.15 million is being distributed by the Department for Education (DfE) and the Home Office to support vulnerable children’s charities/voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations. Following a competitive assessment process, £7.6 million is being distributed through the joint Home Office and DfE Vulnerable Children National Charities Strategic Relief (VCNCSR) Fund. First payments (totalling over 50% of the amount) have been released to all successful applicants (Action for Children, Barnardo’s and The Children’s Society) with subsequent payments to follow later in the funding period.

DfE is funding £7.27 million for a new “See, Hear, Respond” service being led by Barnardo’s. The service is now live and is already supporting children struggling to cope with the impacts of Covid-19 through online counselling, face-to-face support and support to return to education. The funding will end in November 2020.

DfE are directly awarding £4.78 million of funding to charities providing key services to vulnerable groups, including the Family Fund, Grandparents Plus, Family Rights Group, FosterTalk, the Care Leavers Association, Become, Drive Forward Foundation and Adoption UK. £10 million has already been committed to the Family Fund, helping families with children who have complex needs and disabilities through grants for equipment which will make their lives easier.

The Home Office is directly awarding the remainder of its funding for supporting vulnerable children’s charities/VCSE organisations (not allocated through the VCNCSR Fund) to charities/VCSE organisations working with children facing specific risks including child sexual exploitation and abuse, criminal exploitation including by county lines gangs, missing episodes and serious violence. This includes funding to be distributed by our 18 Violence Reduction Units (VRUs) to small and micro charities. First payments to VRUs (for onward distribution) and the other vulnerable children’s VCSE organisations (totalling 75% of the amount) have been released with the remaining amounts to follow later in the funding period.

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