Almitas Trust is a new CIC which we have self funded to date. Our service provides supported accommodation to vulnerable families who are navigating the local authority child protection system. In a lot of cases (usually) mums to be who are "on the radar" of social services can find themselves in care proceedings as soon as their child arrives.
There are a very small number of parent and child foster placements which are run at huge cost by for profit agencies. However, these are very few and far between and if there is no placement available for the mum and baby, the baby is removed and placed in foster care and the mum potentially loses their child forever (as "twin tracking" for both foster care and adoption simultaneously is very common).
A parent/child foster placement is not always suitable for every family, and we know this from experience (we are former parent and child foster carers ourselves). Therefore, we have set up a small unit to provide true 24/7 supported accommodation for clients and, as we feel its morally wrong to profiteer, we are charging a significant amount less than the private for profit fostering agencies.
In these times of austerity, Local Authorities are under pressure to provide more for less, and we seek to provide comparable support and accommodation to vulnerable families for less cost than the for profit agencies cost.
We have been working hard to break through to Local Authorities and have made good progress, but there is a culture of risk aversion and they tend to "go with what they know". We are applying for grant funding to help us to keep the lights on while we work to generate our first placements and would appreciate any guidance or advice that anyone could give?
Check out our website on www.almitastrustcic.org
hi Mary - a good starting point would likely be FundingCentral (http://www.fundingcentral.org.uk/default.aspx): as well as a serachable directory of grant making trusts and programmes, there are also various guides under the 'support and advice' pages too;
you might also want to get in touch with your local CVS, although as a word of caution, most grant making bodies won't consider supporting activities or projects if they deem them to be the statutory responsibility of a local authority (which can mean getting creative in how you structure some of your activities..)
good luck with it all