Government funding to expand work of FGM centre

A £30m Government grant will allow the National FGM Centre to continue its work to stop female genital mutilation (FGM).

Newly appointed children and families minister Robert Goodwill has announced funding for 24 projects as part of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

In his first address to the children’s social care sector since becoming minister, to the Association of Directors of Children’s Services annual conference in Manchester, Mr Goodwill confirmed that a portion of the grant would go to Barnardo’s, which runs the National FGM Centre alongside the Local Government Association, to maintain and expand the role of the centre.

The National FGM Centre was established in 2015 with the aim of ending FGM in England within 15 years. It works with girls and their families to raise awareness in schools and communities, and trains professionals including social workers and teachers in identifying girls at risk of FGM and reporting it to the police.

News of the grant comes as figures published by NHS Digital have recorded more than 5,000 previously unreported cases of FGM from April 2016 to March 2017 – with 39 per cent of cases where the age of the child was known in children under five.

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