Cashback for Communities phase 6: children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment

Children's rights and wellbeing impact assessment for phase 6 of the CashBack for Communities programme.

CashBack for Communities Phase 6 : Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA)

1. Summary of policy aims and desired outcomes

This assessment provides an update on the Children's Rights and Wellbeing Impact Assessment (CRWIA) that was published in November 2019. The update includes a summary of how children's rights have been embedded in the CashBack for Communities (CashBack) programme.

Since the previous CRWIA was published, the CashBack programme has continued to fund a wide range of projects to support children and young people across Scotland. Activities range from diversionary youth work to more long term potentially life-changing intervention projects which turn young people's lives around and provide them with the opportunity to develop the skills needed to help them thrive.

Phase 6 of CashBack for Communities runs from 1 April 2023 to 31 March 2026. The Scottish Government has committed up to £20 million to the programme that will see 29 CashBack funded organisations delivering a wide range of trauma-informed and person-centred services and activities for young people between the ages of 10 to 25 that:

  • Support young people most at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending towards or into positive destinations;
  • Provide person-centred support for young people, parents and families impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma;
  • Support young people to improve their health, mental health and wellbeing;
  • Support people, families and communities most affected by crime.

2. Executive Summary

The impact assessment process has found that the CashBack programme is broadly supportive of young people's rights and wellbeing.

The CRWIA undertaken in 2019 identified that further information on the impacts of the programme for participants in protected characteristic groups would benefit future policy development of the programme. This theme will now be incorporated into the scope of requirements for the Phase 5 external evaluation. Projects being delivered in Phase 6 will continue to report on the participation levels of equality groups, highlighting any barriers to participation.

The CashBack programme will continue to be delivered through a range of partners and, as described above, we will continue to embed equality monitoring as part of the ongoing programme of reporting and evaluation. This will support the delivery of the programme and will also inform future policy development.

A further improvement to the CashBack programme has been the completion of a CRWIA by all organisations that received CashBack funding in Phase 5. This has been undertaken at project level as a minimum, with many organisations having undertaken the assessment at a strategic level too. As all CashBack projects engage with children and young people between the ages of 10 and 25, this was found to be a beneficial process. All completed CRWIAs have been published on the organisations' websites.

The grant conditions for Phase 6 have also been updated to include a requirement for all CashBack funded organisations to either review existing CRWIAs or complete a CRWIA if not previously undertaken. Guidance on the process will be provided.

3. Background

Ministers announced in June 2007 that they would use the funds recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 in a positive way to expand young people's horizons and increase the opportunities they have to develop their interests and skills.

The CashBack programme commenced in 2008. The intention was to support an expanded range of activities for children and young people in the areas of sports, culture and arts to help them develop personally and physically. Phase 1 of CashBack, which ran from 2008 to 2011, allowed the testing of different approaches. Under Phase 2 there was an expansion of the programme as a result of windfalls, appointment of a delivery partner and improved monitoring and reporting. Phase 3 sharpened the focus on providing opportunities for young people to get into positive destinations, such as further education, volunteering and employment. Phase 4 of CashBack focussed on tackling inequalities by providing activities to help raise the attainment, ambition and aspirations of disadvantaged young people. Phase 5 introduced a stronger focus on supporting young people most affected by crime and Adverse Childhood Experiences.

Each phase of CashBack has built on the success of the previous phase, learning lessons and developing to better support the ambition of young people in Scotland. Overall, the Scottish Government has committed up to £130 million to the CashBack programme since 2008.

Part of the success of the CashBack programme is how it has delivered activities for young people targeted at those from Scotland's most deprived communities. This is a theme that has been retained for Phase 6. While projects funded by the CashBack programme use the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) to help target delivery in areas of disadvantage, the programme is accessible to people who live in non-SIMD areas. The projects funded by CashBack offer support based on individual need and are delivered across all 32 local authority areas. Young people can be referred to the programme through a number of routes including statutory bodies, schools, equalities organisations, third sector organisations and youth services and other CashBack projects.

4. Scope of the CRWIA

As the programme has been in operation for a number of years there is a wide evidence base of information gathered by partners through the various phases. This consists of quarterly reports, annual reporting and a wider evaluation of each phase.

Research Scotland Evaluation of Phase 4

CashBack for Communities Annual Report 2021-22

Phase 6 of the CashBack programme has a focus on supporting young people aged 10 to 25 who are covered by the Phase 6 criteria, for example young people most affected by crime or at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending; young people impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences and trauma; young people with poor health, mental health and wellbeing. However, the evidence shows that the benefits of the programme extend to a wide range of young people with varied needs and who are not confined to any one SIMD area.

Evidence on the impact of the programme from the Impact Report for 2021-22 shows that:

  • 30,106 young people were supported, covering all 32 local authority areas.
  • 19,160 were aged 10 to 15; 9,475 were aged 16 to 18.
  • 17,201 were male; 12,082 were female.
  • 17,179 reported positive behaviour changes.
  • 7,473 young people felt less inclined to participate in criminal behaviour.

The breakdown of participants by SIMD areas was:

  • 17,343 from SIMD 0 to 20%
  • 5,234 from SIMD 20 to 30%
  • 4,041 from SIMD 30 to 40%
  • 2,634 from SIMD 40 to 50%
  • 853 from SIMD 50 to 100%

The 2021-22 Impact Report also reflects feedback from participants with 19,418 participants reporting improved wellbeing using eight wellbeing indicators (SHANARRI) as a basis. The indicators are Safe; Healthy; Achieving; Nurtured; Active; Respected; Responsible and Included.

The CRWIA process during the development of the policy for Phase 5 along with subsequent surveys, evaluations and the CRWIA assessments undertaken by CashBack funded organisations provide reassurance that the CashBack programme is broadly supportive of children's rights and wellbeing. The corresponding Equality Impact Assessment has also shown that the programme has no negative impacts and some positive impacts on the protected characteristics groups.

5. Children and young people's views and experiences

Building on the work done to gather children and young people's views for the previous CRWIA, a further survey of 850 young CashBack Phase 5 participants was undertaken in January 2022.

Key findings from the survey were:

  • 99% of respondents felt that the proceeds of crime should be reinvested in those communities most impacted.
  • An overwhelmingly positive responsein respect of the value to young people and wide range of CashBack for Communities projects and programmes.
  • The vast majority of participants emphasised how easy it was to access CashBack activities, with 91% reporting no difficulties. Those reporting difficulties commonly cited personal circumstances such as drug use and poor mental health.
  • Participants see CashBack programmes as highly inclusive but place a strong emphasis on young people being listened to, and supported, if CashBack partners are to reach the widest possible audience.

Young people placed most value on:

  • mental health, particularly in relation to confidence, anxiety and social interaction;
  • acquiring new skills and experiences;
  • improving support networks through 1 to 1 support and guidance, from trusted and experienced mentors and staff; and
  • volunteering and community connectivity.

Young people participated widely in online projects during lockdown but faced difficulties in doing so and expressed a strong preference for face-to-face activities. That said, online activity continues to be a vital stepping-stone to greater participation in CashBack activities for some young people.

In addition to the survey, a new approach to involving young people in the assessment process of applications for Phase 6 funding was tested. This involved young people with CashBack experience volunteering to review applications to provide feedback on project proposals. Their scores were incorporated into the overall assessment markings to help identify the strongest proposals.

Young people were also recruited from within Scottish Government via the Modern Apprentice Network to participate in application assessment panels to ensure that a diverse range of interests were represented, which included policy leads from Equalities and Children's Rights.

A review of these approaches will be undertaken as part of a wider evaluation of the Phase 6 application round.

6. Key Findings

The CRWIA process is now embedded in the CashBack programme with all Phase 5 organisations having completed assessments. All CashBack partners going forward will be required to consider the impact of their projects on children's rights and wellbeing as a condition of grant. The programme supports a number of children's rights including those below:

Article 3 (Best interests of the child)

In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

Article 12 (Respect for the views of the child)

The child who is capable of forming his or her own views shall be assured the right to express those views freely in all matters affecting the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child.

Article 13 (Freedom of expression)

The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice.

Article 14 (Freedom of thought, belief and religion)

Respect for the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Article 23 (Children with a disability)

A mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community.

Article 28 (Right to education)

The right of the child to education, and with a view to achieving this right progressively and on the basis of equal opportunity. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be encouraged and made available and accessible to every child. Measures must be taken to encourage regular attendance at schools and the reduction of drop-out rates.

Article 29 (Goals of education)

The development of the child's personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential.

Article 31 (Leisure, play and culture)

The right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts. Respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity

Article 39 (Recovery from trauma and reintegration)

Take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.

Article 40 (Juvenile justice)

A variety of dispositions, such as care, guidance and supervision orders; counselling; probation; foster care; education and vocational training programmes and other alternatives to institutional care shall be available to ensure that children are dealt with in a manner appropriate to their well-being and proportionate both to their circumstances and the offence.

Our assessment is that the CashBack programme is supportive of these rights and of children's broader wellbeing.

7. Monitoring and review

The CashBack programme has a robust process for monitoring and evaluation that is linked to the grant process. This includes quarterly and annual reporting on project performance as well as ongoing engagement with the CashBack Fund Manager.

An external evaluation is conducted at the end of every CashBack phase. All CashBack funded organisations are required to collect and collate data to support the evaluation process, including on participant profile and outcomes. The Phase 5 evaluation is due to be published by Autumn 2023 and a review of its findings will be undertaken to identify any improvements that can be applied to Phase 6.

8. CRWIA Declaration


Policy Lead: Denise Hughes
Date: 20/06/2023

Deputy Director or Equivalent: Mo Rooney
Date: 20/06/2023



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