The Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced £76 million of extra funding to support survivors of domestic abuse, sexual violence and vulnerable children and their families and victims of modern slavery.
A change to the existing rules will also mean that those fleeing domestic abuse and facing homelessness as a result will be automatically considered as priority by their council for housing – ensuring more survivors of domestic abuse have access to a safe home.
This funding will also help front line charities to be able to offer different ways of supporting those in need, including through virtual or telephone-based services, as well as providing direct support to families of disabled children through the provision of goods including household appliances and sensory toys.
The funding is part of comprehensive measures to support vulnerable people through the pandemic and the government is working closely with councils, charities and other partners to ensure they get the support they need.
Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick MP, said: “It is essential that the most vulnerable people in our communities continue to get the vital support they need during this pandemic. This multi-million-pound package is a boost for charities working on the front line to provide often lifesaving support or services at this unprecedented time. This includes essential support for domestic abuse victims, living in fear in the place where they should feel most safe – their home.”
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “My absolute priority is the safety and security of vulnerable children, and supporting them throughout this pandemic. As we take action to overcome this unprecedented situation, we all must work together to keep children safe. This financial commitment will help those on the frontline continue their vital work in communities across the country.”
The funding update includes:
Vulnerable children: A total of £34.15 million will support work to safeguard vulnerable children including children with disabilities, those who are critically ill, care leavers and children in the early years. Funding will also allow charities to offer support services in new ways, using remote working and technology solutions, for example, to help tackle criminal threats and mitigate the risks to vulnerable children and young people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Domestic abuse survivors: The announcement includes £28 million to help survivors of domestic abuse and their children by providing more safe spaces, accommodation and access to support services during the coronavirus outbreak.
Survivors of sexual violence: £10 million has been announced to support victims of sexual violence access advice and support, through the funding of technology to enable charities to offer services remotely. A further £3 million per annum until 2022 will also be invested in the recruitment of more Independent Sexual Violence Advisors across the country.
Survivors of modern slavery: £ 1.73 million will provide emergency support to modern slavery charities who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. This funding will go towards individuals supported through the Modern Slavery Victim Care Contract and will allow victims to stay in government-funded safe accommodation for the next 3 months, access financial assistance, access support services remotely, and ensure we can manage additional demand on the services during this period.
Read the full story on the Government website here.