Home Office launches £13m gang crime/sexual exploitation fund

The fund is designed to foster close protective relationships between professionals working with young vulnerable people between the ages of 10 and 17 who are at risk of being exploited.

The Trusted Relationships Fund [TRF] will invite local authorities to apply for funding to run projects aimed at fostering relationships between frontline staff and at-risk children.

Examples of the sort of projects that may be able to access the fund include safe spaces, youth counselling, displacement activities e.g. sports and clubs and improved partnership working between agencies.

A review carried out by the Early Intervention Foundation last year found that a trusted relationship with an adult is an essential part of programmes to support vulnerable children and that the lack of trusted relationships is consistently cited in reviews of failures around child sexual abuse and exploitation.

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.