The Department for Education (DfE), the Government department responsible for education and children’s services in England, is seeking to fund a voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisation to provide a national information and advice service for the families and carers of children at risk or involved in the care system. The funding is to run a service from 1 July 2016 to March 2018.

The Department wishes to support the sector to ensure that families and carers have access to expert advice and support to understand the system and help prevent avoidable escalation of family issues.

The service, provided via web and telephony, will provide high quality, independent information and advice for families, relatives and friends on a broad range of issues including:

  •     Care proceedings.
  •     Kinship and other forms of care.
  •     Child protection.
  •     Family and child law.
  •     Sources of support for families and friend’s carers and the children for whom they care.

Please note that this funding is not for small scale projects aimed at meeting local delivery needs.
Not-for-profit voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector organisations working in England can apply. This includes Community Interest Companies and universities. Bids are welcomed from individual organisations and from partnership/consortia. (Organisations which are not VCSE, such as sole traders, local authorities and councils, may be included in the partnership or consortium, but they cannot be the sole or lead bidder.) Local and regional organisations can apply but they must be able to deliver an advice service for families and carers across England.

A grant of between £270,000 and £320,000 per annum (pro-rata) is to be used for revenue costs related to providing, and developing if necessary, a not-for-profit digital and phone service that runs from 1 July 2016 to 31 March 2018.
Revenue costs include:

  •     Day to day administration for the service once up and running.
  •     Overheads (eg, premises/facilities).
  •     Staffing (eg, management, delivery and administration).

The deadline for all bids is 3 May 2016. Bidders will be notified of results the week commencing 9 May 2016.  Click on the links below for more information.


Invitation to Bid