A few weeks ago we announced our first open funding round. This was a big moment for us as an organisation, but also an anxious one.
We’ve been really pleased by the sector’s responses to our previous calls – to work with us on testing family group conferences, or social workers in schools, or to partner with our Practice in Need of Evidence programme; each of which was oversubscribed.
And we’re pleased with the relationships we’ve built, both through these projects and others, over the last nearly year and a half, with people across the sector in local and national government, in charitable organisations, and researchers.
However, this new step is somewhat nerve wracking. We’re throwing this open to any and all projects that could help to improve outcomes for young people and their families- and we don’t know what the response will be
What we do know is that we want to hear from as many people as possible. . You might be a social worker, in management, or in strategic leadership. You might be an academic or another researcher or; you might work for a charity. We say the call is open, and that’s what we mean. We know that good practice can and does exist everywhere; we know that experience is no guarantee of wisdom, and that new and ‘innovative’ does not necessarily mean ‘better’.
The programme or intervention you submit could be something new you’ve never tried out before; something that’s a part of your practice; something already being done by your team, service, or local authority – a training course,an activity for working with young people, a way of engaging with families. The only requirements are that it can be delivered in settings by January 2020 (and preferably sooner!), and that you’ve got a curious mind willing to work with us, and an independent evaluator, to help understand the impact of the intervention and how, when, and for whom it works.
We’ve included four ‘highlights’ in our call where we would most like to encourage applications for this first round, most of which emerged from a priority setting exercise with more than 250 people from across the sector, and a further one inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement – but if you can make the case for a project that sits outside of one of those areas, we’re listening.
Successful applicants will get funding to develop and implement their programme or intervention in the field. You’ll be supported by our team, and an independent evaluator will work with you to help shine a light on what’s working, and what isn’t.
So, while we might be a bit nervous about what the coming weeks might bring, we’re also very excited about the prospect of supporting impactful projects. But, we can’t champion your ideas unless you let us know about them, so please – apply now.