NOMS co-financing round 3 – overview and update
NOMS CFO accesses ESF monies to deliver services to offenders in custody and community, to move them closer to the labour market. The focus is on those offenders who have difficulty accessing mainstream services currently available.
The current programme will end on 30 June 2015. The implementation of the next round is now underway following the procurement programme to select providers for the next programme. Delivery under Round 3 will run to December 2020.
The following provides more detail on what will be delivered under CFO Round 3.
Not a traditional ‘programme’
NOMS CFO will be included as part of the Social Inclusion Thematic Objective for the 2014-20 Programme which has a wider focus than Employment. As the CFO targets those furthest away from mainstream activity, this will allow providers to tackle a range of identified barriers at an earlier stage, better preparing offenders for mainstream provision.
Moving offenders successfully on to other provision is a key aim.
CFO delivery – general aim
The ESF requirement is for additionality of provision which ensures that the funding is not a substitute for other public funding. Financed by ESF, the CFO programme delivers services via contracted prime providers and sub-providers to improve access to mainstream activity for offenders in the community or reaching the end of a custodial sentence.
The focus of the programme is to enhance an offender’s employability and increase opportunities to access mainstream provision, the overall aim being the reduction of re-offending.
CFO must target specific cohorts of offenders that fall into ESF priority categories including women, older offenders (50+), offenders with disabilities (including mental health) and offenders from ethnic groups.
The focus of the CFO as a whole is delivery for offenders categorised as hard to reach. Additionally, each contract region has identified 5 sub-groups (of which one must have a health related focus and one must be for women), for specialist, intensive delivery. These groups are intended to have limited throughput, to allow providers to deliver more specialised services over a longer period of time.
Custody and community
Up to 70% programme commencements are expected to take place in custody with the remaining 30% in the community. Through the gate delivery is likely to take the overall delivery split to 50:50. However, there will be regional variations.
Contracts commenced in April 2015 although actual delivery is only expected from July 2015. The interim period is to allow providers to complete recruitment, security clearances, negotiate staff bases and agree specific areas of delivery with stakeholders.
Although the main focus for alignment is CRC delivery, CFO provision must align with all existing/planned services. Providers will be expected to liaise at all levels with custodial and community stakeholders, to ensure that delivery is complementary and adds value. For example, there will be a specific requirement for providers to build relationships with LEPs across each contract area to ensure added value and avoid duplication of provision.
This will continue throughout the life of the contract to allow changes in CFO as required.
As well as aligning with services, CFO must aim to enhance other delivery and add value wherever possible to ensure that participants benefit fully from available provision. There is opportunity to consider existing delivery and identify potential areas either where gaps in provision exist or where CFO services could enhance the offer.
Again, this can continue throughout the life of the CFO contract.
CFO delivery is not black box but providers are given flexibility to respond to participant needs. CFO providers will be required to add value to existing provision with a specific remit to ensure that CRC delivery is not duplicated.
A percentage of the financial allocation for each region has been ring-fenced and will only be accessed by providers via a business case process. This fund is intended to be used once the contracts are underway, in negotiation with appropriate stakeholders. Provider and stakeholders will work together to identify potential service gaps (with a specific focus on delivery to the sub-groups). It is likely that these funds will not be accessed until 12-18 months into each contract.
Over the next few weeks, NOMS CFO will be closing the current programme in all delivery sites and implementing new provision across England. Meetings are being held with incumbent providers to ensure closure processes are followed and handover arrangements made (where appropriate) to CFO 3 providers.
Discussions are ongoing with regional stakeholders in custody and community to consider issues which may affect delivery in the next round including logistical arrangements such as staff co-location.
For more information, contact Philippa Lyon, NOMS CFO Policy Lead - email@example.com or 07772 560564.
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