Children’s Social Work Matters
The region’s councils found children’s social work had received negative publicity following a number of abuse cases. High vacancy rates created instability in the workforce. The services formed a partnership to turn this round and it now provides a platform advertising jobs attracting 5,000 visitors per month. A secure knowledge hub connects social workers, academics and students and showcases great work in the area. There have been total cashable and non-cashable benefits of £256,486 and improvements in recruitment and retention.
Across Leicestershire housing support was fragmented, inconsistent and bureaucratic so the councils (Leicestershire CC; Blaby, Charnwood, Hinckley & Bosworth, Melton, Oadby & Wigston BCs; and Harborough and North West Leicestershire DC) devised Lightbulb. This is transforming service delivery by putting residents at the centre of the redesigned housing-related support service. Lightbulb delivers housing support, minor adaptations and equipment, disabled facilities grants, help with wider practical housing needs and support with health and wellbeing. In 18 months, the housing support co-ordinator pilot helped 265 residents and saw a 66% reduction in service usage. Two months post intervention saw adult social care costs reduced by 23%, pointing to a potential annual saving of £250,000.
Full Circle service works with offenders with complex needs including substance misuse, mental health and learning disabilities. Essex felt a single integrated service could co-ordinate support across vulnerabilities and criminal justice settings. Nowhere else is thought to have taken this approach. Service users said the innovative community approach developed by Essex’s substance misuse services was popular but should extend to other vulnerabilities. Full Circle went live in April 2016 and costs less than £1m a year. Some 96% of users have not reoffended and 33% reported improved psychological wellbeing.
Kensington & Chelsea RBC, Hammersmith & Fulham LBC, Westminster City Council and Central & North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Community Independence Service
Covering three boroughs and three acute hospital sites, the service receives 1,000 referrals a month. In the past five months it has avoided 987 admissions, so meeting a Better Care Fund target, and 65% of residents who pass through the reablement service attain complete independence afterwards. The service offers a community-based rapid nursing and therapy service providing assistance within two hours to avoid A&E admissions and rehabilitation and reabelment to give residents maximum ability to remain in their own homes. It has seen a 96% satisfaction rate and its work has cut adult social care expenditure through greater use of reablement.
Lambeth, Lewisham & Southwark LBCs
The three councils worked with Jobcentre Plus, investing £800,000 in the partnership and securing £1.6m of external funding for its Pathways to Employment programme. This seeks to prevent residents with complex needs from becoming or staying long-term unemployed and cycling in and out of employment programmes. They are supported by a key worker to address skills shortages, housing, debt, family and childcare problems. To date 410 residents have been supported into work, with nearly 30% sustaining work. The first phase ran from October 2014 to November 2015 and delivered a public return of investment of £3.48 for every pound spent.
Norfolk Waste Partnership
Towards Zero Waste
The partnership between Norfolk CC and the districts – Breckland, Broadland, Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, North Norfolk, Norwich and South Norfolk – provides waste services across the county and seeks to reduce the amount of waste generated by 1kg per household a week by March 2019. It works to increase the availability of waste reduction, reuse, repair and recycling services and to ensure residents and businesses understand the importance of seeing waste as a resource. The partners collect more than 80,000 tonnes of recyclable household material annually and deliver it to their upgraded recycling facility, which produces secondary materials that can be sold.
Redcar & Cleveland BC
Grangetown Training and Employment Hub
The council’s support for residents of the Grangetown area has seen 1,718 people register for help, with more than 4,000 CVs held online for opportunities with local employers. So far, 276 residents have been supported into employment and 584 into training. Core funding came through a planning gain agreement, and private sector partners access funding to deliver training and guidance. It offers a construction training programme, and the hub is also functions as a one-stop shop alongside the local credit union, food bank, citizen’s advice service and social landlord Coast and Country.
South London Waste Partnership
South London Waste Partnership
The South London Waste Partnership was formed in 2003 and in 2008 awarded a 25-year waste treatment contract to Viridor leading to a state-of-the-art energy recovery facility being under construction in Sutton, which when operational will divert 95% of household residual waste away from landfill. This was followed last year by a £200m environmental services contract for Veolia, which will see one million residents receive harmonised environmental services. Sutton went first with the new ‘twin-stream’ recycling and rubbish collection service and residents are already recycling more than they throw away.
South Norfolk Council
Early Help Hub
When an Ofsted report judged Norfolk’s children’s services ‘inadequate’ and low-risk issues were allowed to escalate, it became evident that agencies were not working together and South Norfolk’s chief executive was asked to bring together a county-wide Early Help Improvement Board. This new approach delivered a step-change from being process- to outcome-led, with services driven by results. There are 18 bodies involved, which committed to working in an agile way. The Hub was developed to allow agencies to collaborate and devise solutions to problems. So far the number of children in need has reduced by in excess of 20% and the number of looked after children by 7%.
Peter Bungard, chief executive, Gloucestershire CC
Richard Flinton, chief executive, North Yorkshire CC
Paul Medd, chief executive, Fenland DC
John O’Brien, chief executive, London Councils
Gill Steward, chief executive, Bexley LBC