Agenda Item No


The Vale of Glamorgan Council


Cabinet: 29th February 2012


Report of the Leader


External Funding Applications


Purpose of the Report

1.             To inform Cabinet of external funding applications submitted/allocated to maximise the amount of external funding grant sought/utilised to support the delivery of corporate objectives. 


1.             That Cabinet supports Officers' endeavours to work with neighbouring authorities on the basis Merthyr Tydfil Council is the lead organisation for an application for Big Lottery funding for the Home School Links project.  

2.             That the Council continues to act as lead body for the Families First and School Based Counselling grant available to the Children & Young People's Partnership.

3.             That Cabinet notes the utilisation of the Families First Non Pioneer grant available for 2011/12.

4.             That Cabinet notes the proposed utilisation of the Families First grant for 2012/17.

5.             That Officers' enter into appropriate contractual arrangements with delivery partners. 

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure Cabinet supports the collaborative work with neighbouring authorities to maximise funding towards Home School Links activities.

2.             To ensure Cabinet is aware of the continuing financial and legal responsibilities undertaken by the Council as grant recipient body on behalf of the Children & Young People's Partnership.

3.             To facilitate Cabinet's endorsement of the utilisation of the Families First Non Pioneer Grant available for 2011/12.

4.             To facilitate Cabinet's endorsement of the proposed utilisation of the Families First Grant from April 2012.

5.             To regularise the proposed agreements with delivery partners by way of Contract. 



2.             Corporate Management Team previously agreed new procedures to improve the way in which the Council assess and co-ordinates its bids for external grant.

3.             An 'External Funding Framework' covers the practicalities of maximising external funding opportunities to meet corporate objectives. The framework highlights the criteria that potential applicants must address and those applying for external grant to minimise risk to the Council.    

Relevant Issues and Options

Home School Links Project

4.             The Big Lottery Application for a Home School Links project follows a previously successful bid. The project is a collaboration between agencies working with vulnerable children and young people in the 7 local authority areas that make up the South Wales Police Force Area - Bridgend, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Rhondda Cynon Taff, Swansea and the Vale of Glamorgan.

5.             Merthyr Tydfil would be the lead organisation for the application on behalf of the seven authorities. The application covers the period March 2012 until March 2015. It is proposed funding of £120,000 is sought to employ a full time equivalent Home School Links Officer for the Vale of Glamorgan. The Officer to provide on-going support to children, families and schools. The target for the project is children aged 4-12 years (key stages 2-3) who reside in the wards of Gibbonsdown, Cadoc and Court (Flying Start Areas) identified via members of the Flying Start and Families First teams.

6.             The Officer would be based in the Flying Start building, receive day to day management from the Flying Start Manager and professional support from the Senior Education Welfare Officer in Access and Inclusion.

7.             The Families First & Flying Start Strategic Executive Group responsible for developing locality based services in the Flying Start areas would oversee the project along with the Flying Start Manager.

Families First Non Pioneer Grant 2011-12

8.             The Families First Programme has emerged out of the "Cymorth - Children and Youth Support Fund" and become more focussed on a support network of provision and services fitted to a team around the family approach. Cabinet approved how the £1.26m Families First Grant available for 2011/12 would be utilised on 19th October 2011 (Min C1471).

9.             Welsh Government has offered an additional 100k to each of the Families First Non Pioneer Areas to facilitate strategic development in their area. Each submitted an outline of proposed spend until March 2012. Due to the need to commit the funding by March 2012 the grant available to the Vale of Glamorgan was used as follows:

·               To develop an Information Sharing Protocol (in line with WASPi) for partners engaged to support multiagency working through the sharing of information on families - (£20,000)

·               To design and deliver training to the Families First Team and those partners making referrals into the Families First programme - (£20,000)

·               To purchase equipment/hardware/software to ensure that Families First staff are able to undertake their roles - (£20,000)

·               To commission a data storage system (£15,000)

·               To backfill a post to enable the Disability Strand to be piloted earlier than initially projected and support the piloting of provision including play development, work on and around transitions, inclusion and leisure activities (£25,000).

Families First Grant 2012-2017

10.        A Families First Plan (appendix A) and spreadsheet (appendix B) for the Vale of Glamorgan covering the period 1st April 2012 - 31st March 2017 has been submitted to Welsh Government on the basis the Council will receive an indicative grant allocation of £1, 483,024 for 2012/13 and £1,534,990 each year for the financial years 2013/14 until 2016/17.

11.        Families First funds the co-ordination and support of services, the provision of a dedicated family support service (key workers) and a raft of bespoke projects that support the long term aims of improving the life chances of children and young people from disadvantaged families.

12.        It provides a network of targeted support at tier 2 for children, young people and families within a framework of support provision.

13.        The focus of the funding is to build on the newly established Families First Vale project established in 2011/12. Children, young people and/or whole families will be referred through a central referral system to a team that will work with all those within the family requiring support mirroring the team around the child approach.

Underpinning activities include the following projects:

·               Raising awareness of welfare rights - to be externally commissioned

·               A family support programme - to be externally commissioned

·               Disability focus - to be internally and externally commissioned

·               Additional funding for Flying Start - internally commissioned and provided via FlyingStart

·               Partnership for young parents - internally commissioned and provided via Social Services 

·               Putting Families First - internally commissioned via Learning & Development

·               Young People support programme - internally commissioned via Learning & Development

·               Young Carers - to be externally commissioned 

School Based Counselling

14.        The Council currently receives a Welsh Government Grant to deliver school based counselling in the Vale of Glamorgan. Following discussions with Welsh Government it is anticipated the Welsh Government will allocate £410,228 covering the period August 2012 - August 2014, with the possibility of an additional third year. This equates to £205,114 per annum. The grant will be available to continue the delivery and development of the universal school based counselling service for young people in the Vale of Glamorgan, as identified and specified by Welsh Government guidance. The grant is a response to the Clwych report as highlighted within the Estyn Inspection of Youth Support Services in 2007.

15.        The funding will seek to retain the current level of service and slightly expand the provision. The model for the Vale of Glamorgan School-based Counselling Service (Secondary Schools) can be summarised as follows:

·               A team of counsellors contracted via a voluntary sector organisation.

·               All eight mainstream schools, 3 special schools and out of school provisions (PRUs, pupils taught at home etc) are receiving a service plus a small amount of service to primary school pupils.

·               Each mainstream school receives at least 1 day per week. The amount of time spent in each school will vary according to the size of the school (i.e. the number of pupils on roll).

·               Counselling will be offered on a one to one basis and seek to bolster support services and reduce the need for higher ended services.

·               A bank of counsellors will continue to be developed (in conjunction with other authorities) to enhance referral for specialist counselling.

The counselling project will continue to be overseen and managed through a management group made up of interest parties, which will be answerable to the Children and Young People's Partnership.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

16.        External grant of £120,000 is required from the Big Lottery to continue to employ a full time equivalent Home School Links Officer to provide support to children, families and schools.

17.        The Families First Non Pioneer Grant of £100,000 for 2011/12 was additional Welsh Government funding which supported the development of the new Families First team and the piloting of provision earlier than originally anticipated.

18.        The Families First grant of £1, 483,024 for 2012/13 would be used to continue the employment of the Families First Manager, Families First Project Officer, Families First Key Workers and support/admin worker together with the funding for a number of bespoke projects. Projects will be internally and externally commissioned.

19.        It is anticipated the Welsh Government will allocate £205,114 per annum for school based counselling covering the period August 2012 - August 2014, with the possibility of an additional third year. 

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

20.        A partnership agreement would exist between Big Lottery, Merthyr Tydfil Council and regional partners including the Vale of Glamorgan Council setting out the duties and obligations of each partner involved in the Home School Links project.

21.        Contracts/service level agreements would be in place with providers delivering Families First and the school based counselling service which would set out clear roles, responsibilities and targets for the delivery of activities.

22.        Any external delivered activity will be via contracts with providers, which will include SMART, Specific, Measurable, Achievable and Realistic Targets. 

Crime and Disorder Implications

23.        The funding will support a range of interventions and prevention projects which will support parents, young people and schools and have a positive impact on factors influencing crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

24.        The funding will address the needs of a variety of disadvantaged individuals including carers, disabled children and families who reside in Flying Start areas. 

Corporate/Service Objectives

25.        The funding will address improvement objective 10 to 'ensure children and young people are not disadvantaged by poverty'.

Policy Framework and Budget

26.        This is a matter for executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

27.        The Business Planning Group of the Children and Young Peoples Partnership allocated the available Families First grant in line with the priorities of the Community Strategy and WG grant criteria. The Business Planning Group comprises of officers, representatives from a range of public bodies and the voluntary sector. Extensive consultation took place to produce the Community Strategy, which involved relevant departments/partners, children and young people and elected members.    

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

28.        All Committees

Background Papers

Community Strategy 2010-2020

External Funding Proforma - Home School Links Project 2012/15

External Funding Proforma - Families First Non Pioneer Grant 2011/12

External Funding Proforma - Families First Grant 2012/17

External Funding Proforma - School Based Counselling 2012/14


Contact Officer

Mike Jones, Business Manager (Partnerships)


Officers Consulted

Mark Davies - Families First Manager/CYPP Manager

Carolyn Michael - Senior Group Accountant

Operational Manager - Legal Services


Responsible Officer:

Huw Isaac, Head of Performance and Development.