Cashback for Communities Programme: CRWIA

Child rights and wellbeing impact assessment (CRWIA) for phase 5 of the Cashback for Communities Programme.

Cashback for Communities – Phase 5 – CRWIA

CRWIA – Stage 3

Publication Template

CRWIA title: Cashback for Communities Phase 5
Publication date:

Summary of policy aims and desired outcomes

CashBack for Communities is a Scottish Government programme which takes money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and invests it into activities for young people to raise their attainment, ambition and aspirations.

During the current phase (Phase 4) 17 of Scotland's sporting, charity, arts, community and youth organisations deliver projects under the themes of Journey to Employment, Creativity, Diversionary Youth Work and Sport for Change through grants issued under the Cashback Programme.

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 of getting into employment, education, or volunteering.

Over three years of Phase 4 from 2017 to 2020 the Scottish Government committed £17 million.

We have developed a structure for Phase 5 to build on the success of previous phases of the programme. Phase 5 will provide a range of activities for young people between the ages of 10-24 which:

  • Supports people, families and communities most affected by crime
  • Supports those most at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending or reoffending into positive destinations
  • Supports young people most at risk of entering the justice system.

Phase 5 will also support activities, which are not limited by age, which meet the criteria above and:

  • Provides intergenerational support for parents, families and children impacted by Adverse Childhood Experiences.

We have increased the level of funding to £18 million from 2020 to 2023.

Executive summary

CashBack for Communities is a Scottish Government programme which takes money seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and invests it into activities for young people to raise their attainment, ambition and aspirations.

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

Through the impact assessment process we have identified that improvements to the monitoring of the impacts of the programme can be made in order to ensure that further information about the equality characteristics of participants informs our delivery and future policy development of the programme.

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 also will inform future policy development.


Ministers announced in June 2007 that they would use the funds recovered from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) 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 that helps 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.

The specific aims of Phase 4 of CashBack (which runs from 2017 to 2020) are to tackle inequalities by providing activities which raise the attainment, ambition and aspirations of young people disadvantaged by:-

  • Living in areas of deprivation; and
  • Being unemployed, not in education or training; and/or
  • Being excluded, or at risk of exclusion from school; and/or
  • Being at risk of being involved in antisocial behaviour, offending/re-offending.

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, including funding committed for Phase 5, the Scottish Government has committed nearly £110 million to the Cashback programme since 2008. The number of partners and range of activities for Phase 5 will depend on the applications that are selected.

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. For Phase 5 this is a theme that we are keen to retain and once again the application process will seek bids to specifically set out the need for proposed activities and how they link to Scotland's most deprived communities using the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation.

Scope of the CRWIA, identifying the children and young people affected by the policy, and summarising the evidence base

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 3:

Cashback for Communities Annual Report 2018:

The development of Phase 5 and CRWIA also included a survey of young people who have taken part in Phase 4 and a roundtable event on 28 February 2019 where the Cabinet Secretary for Justice heard directly from young people about their experiences of the Programme and what improvements they would like to see.

Alongside this the policy team undertook an engagement event with the delivery partner - Inspiring Scotland - and an extensive round of meetings with policy leads from across Scottish Government.

These have largely supported the success and value of the programme. The CRWIA process during the development of the policy for Phase 5 along with other impact assessments has allowed us to satisfy ourselves that the Cashback programme is broadly supportive of children's rights and wellbeing and to make improvements to the process.

Children and young people's views and experiences

The engagement event with young people who have previously taken part in Cashback projects took place in February 2019 and was a chance to gain direct feedback from young people to inform our policy development. The main points that were raised included:

  • One of the main things that Cashback programmes provide is confidence which can lead to greater things.
  • A useful addition to the Cashback programme would be to provide more options for progression and sustainability.
  • It is helpful for participants to have tutors from the same / similar areas to show what you can achieve.
  • Young people have been given opportunities that they wouldn't have necessarily got otherwise
  • Cashback is a lifeline for communities
  • A point was raised about the programme's age range and if the age range was lower, it would be more beneficial.
  • It was useful to hear other people's stories and would be good to have similar events in the future.
  • If local facilities aren't available/unusable, there isn't anywhere for young people to go.
  • A Cashback programme is a good way to meet new friends.

Additionally a survey was commissioned to provide another source of input from young people who have taken part in the programme.

From this the most frequent responses indicated the aspects enjoyed most by young people were specific outcomes / indicators already embedded in the CashBack logic model:

  • Improving confidence (main one mentioned)
  • Learning new skills (both transferrable and those unique to project e.g. autism, sport specialism etc)
  • Improved school attendance
  • Improved fitness / wellbeing
  • Team or group work - improving confidence and communications particularly in these settings
  • Increased motivation

Other things enjoyed most:

  • Meeting new people
  • Becoming more competitive
  • Becoming more independent
  • Getting along better with others

Views regarding how the programme could be improved included;

  • Care to support underlying challenges / risks to others: There is a suggestion to extend the opportunities they received from CashBack to others in areas of child protection training, child neglect awareness etc. Suggesting structured sessions on these types of topics may provide a safe place or suitable point of contact for YP attendee to confide / seek appropriate support
  • Just do more:
    • Making projects add more days/hours
    • Increase the number of supporting employers to offer more diversity / suitability in opportunities
    • More opportunities to mix with young people on projects from different areas
    • Give more money back
    • More educational trips
    • More residential training weekends to gain more experience and gain more qualifications.
    • More equipment (several relating to very specialised film making equipment), motor cross bikes (disallowed)
    • Involve more YP in the future and encourage more people from all different backgrounds to the programme.
  • Widen age range / criteria:
    • One comment mentioned taking away age restriction
    • Make it accessible to everyone, CashBack funding has helped my leaders change my life.
    • Increase the number of girls in the projects
  • Offering flexibility is really important as this enables organisations to apply for funding to run activities that we as young people actually want to take part in

We have considered all of these views and used them to shape the development of policy for Phase 5, in particular we have introduced a non-age limited element of the programme.

To provide further insight and an additional perspective for the first time we have included young people aged 10-24 who have previously taken part in Cashback events as part of the assessment panels. Our objective by seeking to include a young person in the assessment of Cashback applications is, as part of our wider service design, to ensure that the key target demographics are included as widely as possible in our delivery of Cashback projects.

Key Findings, including an assessment of the impact on children's rights, and how the measure will contribute to children's wellbeing

The Cashback programme does not contain any explicit references to the UN CRC. However the embedded aims of the programme support a number of children's rights including those below:

  • Article 3 (best interests of the child)
    The best interests of the child must be a top priority in all decisions and actions that affect children.
  • Article 12 (respect for the views of the child)
    Every child has the right to express their views, feelings and wishes in all matters affecting them, and to have their views considered and taken seriously. This right applies at all times, for example during immigration proceedings, housing decisions or the child's day-to-day home life.
  • Article 13 (freedom of expression)
    Every child must be free to express their thoughts and opinions and to access all kinds of information, as long as it is within the law.
  • Article 18 (parental responsibilities and state assistance)
    Both parents share responsibility for bringing up their child and should always consider what is best for the child. Governments must support parents by creating support services for children and giving parents the help they need to raise their children.
  • Article 23 (children with a disability)
    A child with a disability has the right to live a full and decent life with dignity and, as far as possible, independence and to play an active part in the community. Governments must do all they can to support disabled children and their families.
  • Article 28 (right to education)
    Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children's dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.

Our assessment is that the Cashback Programme is supportive of these rights and of Children's broader wellbeing. As part of the evaluation and reporting cycle partners are required to gather feedback and report on participants using SHANARRI as a basis.

Some evidence regarding the impact of the Cashback Programme can be found in the most recent impact evaluation (from Phase 3) carried out by Research Scotland and the following high level outcomes have been identified:

  • Between 220,000 and 256,000 young people were involved in CashBack activity each year (2014-2017).
  • At least 107,000 young people took part in culture, employability, youth work and sport for change activity,
  • We estimate 250,000 young people were involved through sporting activities.
  • Around 73,000 young people have increased their participation in positive community based activity
  • CashBack funding for small youth organisations allowed them to attract match funding of over £2.6 million over the three years of phase three, which helped to sustain community based activity.
  • The Youth Scotland Small Grants Scheme involved over 5,800 volunteering opportunities for people of all ages (not just young people) in supporting youth work.
  • Over 60,000 young people now felt they had places to go where they felt safe and comfortable.
  • At least 21,800 young people undertook learning for which they received accreditation.

Monitoring and review

The Cashback Programme has a robust process for monitoring and evaluation that is linked to the grant process. This includes:

Each quarter:

  • Reporting framework is monitored for progress against programme criteria and each specified outcome /indicator – both quantitative and qualitative (within written report and balanced scorecard)
  • Minimum 1 case study per organisation is provided

External Evaluation

  • CashBack organisations are required to appoint an external evaluator ensuring evaluation requirements of their grant offer is fully reflected in the detailed scope of work over 3-year phase.
  • Evaluators complete initial "Foundation" work - ensuring appropriate selection of outcomes, indicators, targets and data collection tools.

CRWIA Declaration


Policy lead
Dan Couldridge
Team Leader, Cashback, Firearms and CCTV


Deputy Director or equivalent
Wendy Wilkinson,
Deputy Director, Safer Communities Division




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