Updated 16 May 2013
Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Families
In July 2012 the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) launched a new Innovation Fund to provide help and support for separated families across Great Britain. It aims to support separated families and help them to collaborate in the best interests of their children. This note provides further information about both rounds of the competition. The first round is now complete and the second round is due to begin early Spring 2013.
The Government believes that strong and stable families are essential to a strong and stable society. When families do separate they should be offered the help and support required to enable them to work together in the best interest of their children.
Following the publication of the Green Paper, Strengthening families, promoting parental responsibility: the future of child maintenance, and advice from an external expert Steering Group, we developed and launched a web application which provides online information and support to parents going through separation. This will soon be supported by telephone support for parents that cannot access the web or need more intensive support.
Additionally, Government is committed to enabling the development of other initiatives to help separating and separated parents to work together in the best interests of their children. DWP are doing this via this Innovation Fund to support separated families across Great Britain. Up to £14m will be allocated to this fund over two bidding rounds. The first round has now been completed and details of successful suppliers and the projects being funded can be found below. The second bidding round will begin early Spring 2013 and contracts are expected to go live late Autumn 2013.
Key objectives of the Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Families
The two key objectives of this Innovation Fund are to:
- Test a range of interventions to understand what is effective in encouraging collaboration and reducing conflict amongst separating and separated parents. We will develop an evidence base of effective interventions.
- Increase the number of children benefiting from child maintenance arrangements by reducing conflict and improving collaboration between separated and separating parents. This will be achieved by developing effective interventions that help parents work together to make their own arrangements and avoid using the courts or the statutory child maintenance system.
DWP Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Families Round Two
The Government is committed to helping parents through the issues they face during separation such as legal, housing, financial and employment concerns, whilst focussing on the needs of their children.
To support this, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) wants to learn what works best in helping separated parents to resolve conflict and work together better to support their children. The Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Parents was launched in July 2012 to encourage innovative new projects to help parents do this. All projects will be evaluated to help us build an evidence base of what works.
Seven contracts were awarded in the first round covering a range of new face-to-face and digital services for separated parents across Great Britain.
We are now pleased to announce that up to £3.4m is to be made available soon during a second round of this Innovation Fund.
Round two will fund new projects up to a maximum contract value of £750,000. Delivery to participants must commence no later than the 1st May 2014 and all participants are to have completed their provision by 31st March 2015. As in the first round, all projects must encourage parents to collaborate to improve outcomes for children.
As well as the types of bids sought in round one, this round will also encourage innovative solutions which could, for example, make use of behavioural insights or social media as well as services which are exclusively focussed on longer-term separated parents – a group which we know faces additional challenges.
As before, bids will be expected to demonstrate how their proposition is different to all existing services, including those funded during round one. Some geographical areas will also be excluded where face-to-face delivery was funded during round one of this Innovation Fund.
We will publish detailed tender documents outlining the kinds of provision we are seeking and to provide instructions for interested bidders at Bravo Solutions (DWP’s e procurement platform) around the end of May.
Additionally, we strongly encourage all interested parties to attend one of two events currently scheduled for the 4th and 6th of June in London and Newcastle respectively. These events will provide potential bidders with further information about the procurement exercise and give you an opportunity to ask questions both in a group format and at specialist tables with representatives from DWP commercials, policy and finance. Previous attendees at these events have found them invaluable, particularly if they are inexperienced with Government procurement processes.
If you are interested in hearing more about round two of this Innovation Fund at the upcoming events, please register your interest by providing your name, the organisation you represent and the date you would like to attend by email to the separated families procurement team.
DWP Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Families Round One - Successful Suppliers
We are pleased to announce the successful suppliers for Round One of the Innovation Fund: Help and Support for Separated Families competition, which are the following organisations.
|Spurgeons||West Midlands and Warwickshire|
|Resolve Cymru||Powys, Wales|
|Resolution||Oxfordshire, Cheshire & Newcastle|
|Relate||England, Scotland and Wales (online)|
|One Plus One Marriage & Partnership Research||Nationwide (online) with face to face services in Kent, Lincolnshire, Angus, Stirlingshire, Wrexham and Conwy|
|Malachi Specialist Family Support Services||Birmingham and West Midlands|
|Howells Limited Liability Partnership||South Yorkshire|