Innovating Children's Social Care

The number of young people in the child protection system at an all-time high in the UK. As demand is rising, budgets are being cut at the same time public scrutiny, media interest and political accountability is increasing.

Innovating in this context is hard, yet local authorities across the country are responding to the challenge, creating new social work practice, new ways of working across agencies and new delivery models that improve outcomes and value for money.

We help organisations across children’s social care to design and deliver support that is rooted in the long-term needs, ambitions and aspirations of children, young people and families. 

The case for innovation in children’s social care has never been stronger. 

Through our work on the DfE’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme we have been providing challenge and support to the development and implementation of whole-system innovations across 53 projects around the country, and learning what works in innovation in children’s social care.

North Yorkshire has developed a new system for high-risk adolescents in care or on the edge of care. The No Wrong Door model integrates residential care, foster care, high-needs supported lodgings, and supported accommodation in one seamless system; and it combines CAMHS support, speech and language therapy, and policing with the practice of social workers and carers.

Leeds’ Family Valued programme is experimenting with replacing Initial Child Protection Conferences with Family Group Conferences (FGCs) in cases of domestic abuse, so that families can make decisions, mend relationships and drive change for themselves.

Ealing Council’s Brighter Futures team is better supporting high-needs foster placements within the borough using multi-agency teams of social workers, youth workers, youth justice workers, teachers, and fostering support workers.

York Council is developing a new system of support for young people in care with high needs, so that they can be supported in foster placements within the city rather sent out of the area to high-cost residential or secure accommodation.

Innovation Unit has played a role in all the examples above. 

Contact Martha Hampson to find out more.