Register for the Community Sponsorship Backstop Fund

Lead Sponsor Organisations are now able to apply to register for the Community Sponsorship Backstop Fund, kindly funded by The Shapiro Foundation.  The fund is administered by Reset.

What is the backstop fund? 

The backstop fund provides access to grants for Lead Sponsors to support their work in the case of unforseen events taking place once a refugee family arrives. The fund will allow charities and Community Interest Companies (CIC) to manage their financial exposure when acting as Lead Sponsor for a Community Sponsorship Group.  In the unlikely event that something goes wrong within or for a sponsorship group once a refugee family arrive, registered organisations can apply for funding to resolve challenges that may arise.  Grants will be available at a lower level (£1,000, to tackle early signs of a developing problem) and a higher level (£5,000, for an issue of significant concern) in line with the criteria specified.  Lead Sponsors faced with a situation could use the funding for paying for staff or specialist services to resolve a situation where exceptional costs are not available from the Home Office.  

What situations might be eligible for funding? 

Lead Sponsor organisations LSO) have a range of working practice in place that prevent serious issues, however, as Lead Sponsors work with groups and families, unexpected situations may arise.  The below table outlines some situations which may be eligible for funding at each level of funding.  

Funding level

Criteria

Evidence

High

One or more of the following situations:

  • Formal letter of concern, or notification of issuing of letter of concern, in relation to the sponsorship from the Home Office or Local Authorities
  • Legal action relating to the sponsorship/Group taken against the LSO
  • The LSO decides to take direct control* of delivery of support for a sponsored family in order to fulfil its obligations as an LSO, and the need for this is confirmed through post arrival visits and/or a portfolio of evidence

The LSO will need to provide evidence of the situation(s). They will also need to confirm (and may be asked to provide evidence that) that it is not possible to access funding other routes, including:

 

Low

One or more of the following situations:

  • Sustained concern about the sponsorship expressed to LSO by HO/LA
  • A demand for payment by a service provider made to the LSO which the Group cannot pay
  • The LSO decides to put in additional staff support alongside the Group as they are consistently struggling to meet their obligations under the sponsor agreement, and the need for this is confirmed through the PASVs and/or a portfolio of evidence
  • A change in circumstances of the family (such as a divorce, or death) which means the Group has to increase their commitment to a household to fulfil their obligations and this cannot be met by the LA
  • A formal complaint is made by the family or Group member, resulting in action that requires additional funding to resolve

 

The LSO will need to provide evidence of the situation(s). They will also need to confirm (and may be asked to provide evidence that) that it is not possible to access funding other routes, including:

  • The Group’s £9k
  • The HO exceptional circumstances fund 
  • Other statutory funding

 

 

*Direct control is understood as where the decision-making and service delivery responsibilities of the Group are taken directly by the LSO through the provision of staff member(s) to lead on the fulfillment of the obligations and functions of the Group. Members of the Group may or may not continue to work alongside the LSO staff member(s).

Registering

To register for the fund, Lead Sponsors will need to complete the application form for their organisation and return this to enquiries@resetuk.org, detailing your standard policies and procedures for working with Community Sponsorship Groups.  

Once accepted, you will need to submit details of the Community Sponsorship applications you wish to enter into the fund for potential claims prior to the Home Office approving that application.   This is only open to new applications submitted to the Home Office after January 1 2021.

We will need to know: 

  • Name of Lead Sponsor Organisation 
  • Name of organisation’s representative submitting to fund: 
  • Name of Group: 
  • Location of Group:
  • Date of formation:
  • Anticipated date of applying:
  • Detail any changes to your usual practice/agreement for this group of which we should be aware:

Accessing a grant payment 

Once the CS application has been accepted to the fund, you will be able to access a grant payment after the arrival of a refugee family should something go wrong in the plans of the group. The criteria for release of grant payments is set out below.  We will make the process for accessing the grants as easy as possible, to ensure that Lead Sponsors needing to make an  intervention can access funding as quickly as possible. 

Evidence will need to be provided that the situation meets the criteria above, where this does not come up through the post arrival support visits delivered by Reset. This evidence may comprise a range of paperwork including copies of letters, emails, records of events etc. If you have further questions relating to the backstop fund, please contact the Reset team via enquiries@resetuk.org