£800,000 of funding for project supporting children and young people in Bridgend

The Cabinet of Bridgend County Borough Council has approved the ‘Relationship Building Together’ (RBT) initiative – a project largely evaluating how services using the Trauma Recovery Model (TRM) can benefit those children affected by trauma.

The collaborative bid to establish the RBT scheme involved teams within the local authority, working together with the All-Wales Forensic Adolescent Consultation Treatment Service (FACTS) – a department of the Children and Adolescent and Mental Health Service (CAMHS).

The RBT scheme is one of only three successful projects across England and Wales to secure funding through the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF). The latter funds projects across the UK that aim to gain knowledge of successful strategies to prevent children and young people becoming involved in violence.

Having been refined and finalised, with the help of a commissioned evaluation team from the University of Kent, the project is set to take place from September 2023 until March 2025. It will be piloted within six teams across the council’s Family Support Group, working with approximately 800 children. The scheme will encompass staff training in TRM, as well as the recruitment of additional posts – including a clinical psychologist position.

 

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “We are the only council in Wales to receive YEF funding and are most certainly leading the way through the RBT project.  There is particular interest from the Home Office in the scheme, with officials hoping that the evaluation may inform future policy around working with children who have experienced trauma.

“The six teams from the council involved in the project, currently work with approximately 1000 children each year, and it is estimated that over 75 per cent of those children have experienced significant trauma. This has impacted on their ability to develop meaningful relationships and has led to problematic behaviour.

 Many of these children fall below the threshold of CAMHS and other neurodevelopmental services, meaning that their vulnerabilities do not allow them to access the help that would enable recovery from the trauma they have experienced.

“Support for children to recover from trauma is often implemented when the child’s situation has escalated. For example, when the young person has ventured into criminality, when they have been exploited, or when they have experienced numerous care placements.

“This project aims to work with children at a much earlier point in their journey, prevent escalation, and support them to recover from any trauma they may have experienced.

“The scheme is a worthy one, which holds much promise for improving the wellbeing and quality of life of our young people.”