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Children's services

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Croydon LBC

Croydon’s approach to tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence involves a combination of partnership approaches that include mobilising the professional and community network, building capacity and capability, a shared leadership perspective that drives forward the strategic partnership priorities, and a client-facing service delivered from the Family Justice Centre.


East Riding of Yorkshire Council

East Riding of Yorkshire aims to offer good quality early intervention services and prevent the need for high-cost statutory interventions. It shifted from traditional models of working to a multidimensional approach. Innovations include supporting prison inmates in parenting their children; children’s centre staff attending child protection case conferences for under-fives; social workers and nursery nurses working together; early help teams working with the police; and supporting and developing foster carers. The service is more efficient and outcomes for families have improved.


Haringey LBC

Haringey set up its Outstanding for All Commission in 2012, which set targets for all local schools to be judged ‘good’ or better and for GCSE attainment to exceed London-wide performance within three years. It also created its Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths Commission, which called for major changes to those subjects’ teaching. Now 93.7% of primary schools and 100% of secondary schools are rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ and the proportion of pupils achieving five or more GCSEs A*-C increased by 14.9% between 2011 and 2014.


North Yorkshire CC

North Yorkshire realigned its children’s services to deliver better outcomes. This included creating a prevention service that works alongside recommissioned healthy child teams to deliver targeted earlier engagement with local families. It invested in its frontdoor team, creating a single referral gateway for all agencies and all schools. North Yorkshire CC’s children’s services were judged by Ofsted to be good in every category and are in the top 10 best children’s services in the country.


Northamptonshire CC

Northamptonshire’s ambition is to provide the right kind of home and care for every child or young person it looks after. It has developed an in-house residential provision to offer individual bespoke care packages and a range of transitional services to respond to the needs outlined in the local placement sufficiency strategy. Each home now has a distinct purpose to enable services to be matched to children and young people’s needs, and to provide transitional placements designed to help them move back to community or home settings or into independence.


Suffolk CC – Signs of Safety and Wellbeing in Suffolk

Improving the impact of services with significantly diminishing resources is a common aspiration and challenge. Suffolk children’s services can claim to have done just that through an innovative and bold programme to implement a single practice framework across all of its services: Suffolk Signs of Safety and Wellbeing. Through implementing an ambitious and clearly articulated plan, it has worked with partners to create a more positive and sustainable experience for children and families, fundamentally changing the role of services from the ‘fixer’ of problems to the stimulator of family-owned change.


Suffolk CC – Twos Count Here

‘Twos Count Here’ was a bespoke project created by Suffolk CC with the aim of ensuring eligible two year olds have high-quality early learning experiences. The project supported early years settings to meet the unique needs of an increasing numbers of young children. It was a strengths-based, time-focused, reflective project that embodied Suffolk’s corporate values and beliefs.

The outcomes have been significant. The needs of two year olds are now better understood and met, supporting them to make good progress. Practitioners report that the project has been inspirational.


Wolverhampton City Council

Wolverhampton City Council has been bold in reshaping its provision and has turned around struggling services while keeping an eye firmly on the future. During the past two years a huge shift towards integration has paved the way for a seamless pathway of support from universal through to specialist that has early intervention and prevention at its core. This transformation has been brought about via a ‘whole family’ approach to children’s services, fundamental changes to social work practice and a clearer understanding of the roles of different professions and how they work together.



Mark Gurrey, interim senior manager, improvement adviser and children’s services consultant, Devon and Norfolk CCs and Wiltshire Council

Tony Hunter, chief executive, Social Care Institute for Excellence

Gerald Meehan, chief executive, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Steve Walker, deputy director, Leeds City Council

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