Sajid Javid has unveiled details of a new drive to stop youngsters being drawn into crime or exploited by gangs.
The Home Secretary announced that 29 projects endorsed by Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) in England and Wales will receive funding totalling £17.7 million over two years.
The money will go towards initiatives that aim to divert children and young people away from a life of crime and violence at an early stage.
Ministers have come under intense pressure over efforts to tackle spiralling levels of violent crime.
Particular focus has fallen on London after a spate of fatal stabbings in the capital.
Plans for an Early Intervention Youth Fund were set out in the Serious Violence Strategy, which was published in April.
Announcing the recipients, Mr Javid said: “As well as taking immediate action to curb knife crime, we need a longer-term approach to prevent our young people from getting drawn into a life of crime in the first place.
“That is why early intervention – alongside tough law enforcement – is at the heart of our Serious Violence Strategy.
“This money will fund a range of projects that focus on diverting vulnerable youngsters and those who have already offended away from crime.”
Measures used by the chosen projects include mentoring, support for families and steps to guide youngsters into employment or education.
Efforts to combat the influence of so-called “county lines” gangs are part of the remit of a number of the selected schemes.
Ten of the projects chosen for the fund are London-based.
Others are in the PCC areas of Norfolk, Sussex, Avon and Somerset, Merseyside, Essex, Humberside, West Midlands, Northamptonshire, Suffolk, Greater Manchester, Cleveland, Devon & Cornwall, Northumbria, Hampshire, Thames Valley, South Yorkshire and West Yorkshire. A combined all-Wales bid was also successful.