Archive for February 14th, 2011

February 14, 2011

Big Society Bank

I have just come back from a fascinating ‘Social Investment Summit’ hosted in the City, and with a wide range of government and private sector speakers.  You will have seen the launch of the Big Society Bank which aims to provide loan capital to charities and social entreprises to allow them to expand their work, access local authority contracts and deliver better services.  The bank will be funded in part by the large high street banks and in part from so-called ‘dormant’ bank accounts – i.e. accounts that have been forgotten!  The first source is expected to provide £200m in loan capital and the second, anything from £60m up to £400m.  The bank is due to start its operations in the third quarter of this year.

The transition from grant funding to generating fees is not necessarily an easy one – but we should be encouraged at the effort that is being put into this area not just by government, but by a wide range of different organisations.  Historically one of the reasons why the voluntary sector has been held back is the lack of capital to build organisations.  Let’s hope that this goes some way to addressing this problem.  Certainly it links in with the thinking in our strategy that we should focus on outcome driven funding, or payment by results.  The skill is in ensuring that the results are good for the people we are trying to help, and not just for the provider.

February 14, 2011

Risk and Children

I just wanted to give you a quick update on our work in relation to risk and children.  We know from numerous serious case reviews when a child is killed or seriously harmed, that all too often the practitioners working with the parent fail to see the risks to the child, particularly in families with domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems.  We know from Safety in Numbers the extent of risk that children living with domestic abuse face – 40% lived with conflict around contact, nearly a quarter had direct threats and over 10% had suffered threats to kill.

CAADA is trying to address this in two ways.  One is via our new CPD module ‘Safeguarding Children Living with Domestic Abuse’ and the second is to explore how we can give practitioners some practical tools and guidance to highlight risks to children – not just from domestic abuse – but more widely with substance misuse, mental health and homelessness.  Last week we hosted a preliminary meeting with several outside agencies representing substance misuse, safeguarding, and domestic abuse services.  I am optimistic that we can create something useful – not a risk tool in the sense of the CAADA risk identification checklist, but rather a set of questions that reminds practitioners that: ‘their client is also a parent’ – something which we can all too easily ignore.  I will keep you posted as the work develops.  It goes without saying, this is critically important.