The Community Fund was first launched last year and 47 charities across the country benefited from the funding.The second round of additional funding forms just one of over 60 actions and commitments announced in the Serious Violence Strategy and reiterates the importance of early intervention to tackle the root causes of serious violence, backed with £40 million of Home Office funding.Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, Matthew Reed said: It is vital that the government continues to support community groups who help young people build the resilience they need to take positive steps in life and steer clear of criminal activity. Early intervention and prevention is vital to tackling serious violence and I am delighted we are able to increase the funding available to support more organisations. As we continue to deliver on the Serious Violence Strategy I look forward to meeting and working with more of these organisations. This announcement comes just days after the Home Secretary doubled the Early Intervention Youth Fund, which is also part of the Serious Violence Strategy, to £22 million. Police and crime commissioners (PCCs) who work in partnership with community safety partnerships (CSPs) or the equivalent can bid for support from the Early Intervention Youth Fund to deliver projects which steer young people away from violent crime. Today (Thursday 2 August) Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins confirmed that 67 charities across England and Wales will be provided extra funding from the Home Office’s Anti-Knife Crime Community Fund.The second round of the Community Fund opened in May 2018 and was originally set at £1 million. Due to the number and quality of bids submitted, and as part of the government’s commitment to early intervention and prevention to tackle serious violence, the funding has been increased to over £1.5 million.These successful bids, which were selected due to their commitment to educating young people about the dangers of carrying weapons, are set to receive up to £30,000 each.Minister for Crime, Safeguarding and Vulnerability Victoria Atkins said: We are delighted to be awarded this funding from the Home Office, which will allow The Children’s Society to deliver school-based support in Birmingham and an emotional resilience programme in Newcastle. Supporting young people to live safe and protected lives free from exploitation and knife crime is more important than ever.
Is it a hand up or a hand out?Historically, much of the public debate about the nation’s social safety net has centered on its efficacy or its cost to taxpayers. There’s been a strong, widely held presumption that such programs are burdensome charities that encourage laziness and yield little economic benefit to society.Gareth Olds, 29, an assistant professor who studies labor economics in Harvard Business School’s (HBS) entrepreneurial management unit, had good reason to suspect that perception was off the mark, but found almost no existing research to confirm or contradict his hunch.“There’s already good evidence that income support and public programs do return investments for a society independent of any kind of moral claim that they have,” he said. “They’re good economic bets. Similar studies have been done on public education, and yet it’s something we continue to cut and cut and cut.”Olds specifically wanted to know whether a stronger safety net had an effect on parents and entrepreneurship. So he dug into 20 years of data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) on enrollment in the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Modeled after a Massachusetts initiative championed by the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, SCHIP is a national program launched in 1996 that pays all or most of the health insurance premium costs for children whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but still aren’t able to provide coverage for their children. At its peak, 13 percent of U.S. households had children insured through the program. While the program still exists, the Affordable Care Act now provides much of the same benefits.“It’s not by accident that we have one of the most educated workforces on the planet. It’s at least in part because of the G.I. Bill,” Olds said. But as public benefits have been cut significantly in recent years, perhaps it’s no accident that the dynamism of the American economy has similarly waned. “These are open questions we can answer with data, so let’s really dig in and figure out what’s going on here.”His findings in a new draft paper confirm that SCHIP did what lawmakers hoped it would do: Households made eligible for coverage were 40 percent less likely to have uninsured children. But Olds’ research found that the program had an unexpected side effect, as well. It led to a 15 percent increase in the self-employment rate among eligible households. Those businesses were disproportionately more likely to be serious, high-quality ventures, not glorified hobbies.Using a rigorous, two-phased methodological approach to tease out causes from correlations, Olds looked at whether households were eligible for coverage and then compared households that were barely eligible to those that just missed qualifying to see what happened in them before the program and afterward.Households that barely qualified for coverage were 20 to 25 percent more likely to have a small business, suggesting a link between becoming eligible and starting a business. In fact, the program increased incorporated businesses by 36 percent and drove up the share of household income generated by these businesses by 12 percent, according to the research.The results also showed that when middle- and lower-income parents had a risk of an uninsured child getting seriously ill, they acted similarly. Their behavior was not driven by households enrolling in SCHIP, but by simply knowing they had the option to do so, the results showed.These findings upend calcified notions that social welfare programs stifle economic growth or that the poor are not motivated to become entrepreneurs or be “job creators.”“This is important from a policy standpoint. If you’re going to design a program, you want to know whether this is an effect of just giving people money, or is it the decoupling of an insurance benefit from employment?” he said.Contrary to shopworn expectations, households with access to private insurance from an employer before SCHIP did not migrate en masse to the program to take advantage of a freebie. It appears that simply knowing the safety net was available to them was key because it reduced the perception of risk that likely would inhibit starting a venture. It’s an unrecognized spillover benefit that policymakers so far have not accounted for, one that is undermined when the social safety net is weakened, the paper concludes.Olds’ research isn’t just professional, it’s personal. While studying developmental economics in Lesotho as a graduate student at Brown University, he became interested in the parallels to U.S. labor economics. So he drew upon that traditional counsel to writers, “write what you know,” and applied it to his work.“I started thinking about my parents’ business. My parents started a business when I was 11, and we had been on public benefits for a long time before then. I was curious whether those two were connected,” he said. “I wanted to know whether a stronger safety net encouraged people to start businesses or enabled them in some way to start businesses.”Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, his family struggled for the first decade of his life, relying on a number of programs such as Medicaid, food stamps, and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) to help make ends meet. Once stabilized, his stepfather eventually found work as a dental assistant while his mother did odd jobs here and there — cleaning houses, delivering phone books, and coaching pregnant women as a doula. To better their circumstances, his stepdad started a weekend vocational school, training students to become dental assistants, most of whom also received some public benefits.‘I don’t think my mom would’ve been able to go to college without this business and without some kind of buffer.’“There wouldn’t be students for my parents’ business without these workfare programs to encourage vocational training. My parents wouldn’t have been able to save any money to start this business, [and] they couldn’t have taken time off” to get it off the ground if they had to take on a second wage-paying job just to stay afloat, he said.“I don’t think my mom would’ve been able to go to college without this business and without some kind of buffer, this knowledge that if things really went south with the business, we’d still have insurance, we wouldn’t be hungry. It was a big, important piece of her calculus in going to school and getting a college education,” Olds said of his mother, who earned a nursing degree when he was in high school.Olds concedes that his unusually personal connection has generated some pushback from colleagues — “quite rightfully so” — about the findings. “In research, people are suspicious if you’re writing about something you really have a personal stake in because [they] worry that there’s a subtle bias or you’re going to find what you’re looking for,” he said, explaining why he applied a two-pronged methodology “to really nail down the empirics of this.”Ultimately, Olds hopes the paper will stimulate some creative thinking on public policy design.“I see this as a bipartisan issue. We want to encourage innovation, we want to encourage people to take risks and take ownership of their lives,” he said, so “why wouldn’t we want to do everything we can to encourage that?”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) The Liberian business community is being asked to urgently provide financial and material assistance to Street Child Liberia in order to make an exceptional impact in its efforts to reduce poverty among the poor in the country.The appeal made by Street Child Liberia’s Program Director Michael John Bull, last Sunday, in Chocolate City, Gardnersville, when his organization delivered grants, totaling U$22, 610 to the parents of the 211 children in its program.Director Bull said the provision of the grant was part of Street Child of Liberia Family Business Scheme that provides financial assistance to parents to enable them provide sustenance for their children.“Once we have put the children in school,” Bull said, “our concern is how to sustain the family so that the child who was once on the street, does not return to the street, he said. “Therefore, through Street Child UK, Street Child Liberia is able to provide the funds, after the beneficiaries were carried through two days of [training in] what it entails to start and sustain a business.“So, we offer a business support program, the Family Business Scheme,” he said, “but to get majority of the poor to benefit from the program, the Liberian business community must show interest and support us.”He told the Daily Observer that these business opportunities are expected to create a secure and sustainable future for the child or children, whose parents are being supported.“If we can get this program funded by the local business community,” he said, “it will make a lasting impact on the effort to help poor parents keep their children in school.”Other ambitious projects, he said, include the support for 400 amputee children to whom Street Child Liberia would be providing prosthetics, along with medical care for their upkeep.“This involves children who have suffered amputation,” Bull said. “The amputation could have come through any other means.”He said Street Child Liberia will sponsor more than 400 street children in school after uniting them with their parents.