sponsored by AlphaBiolabs
Central Bedfordshire Council
Transforming multi-agency delivery
Central Bedfordshire is committed to ensuring its children are happy, achieving, confident and healthy. To do this it has invested in co-ordinated multi-agency early help while maintaining rigorous and effective quality assurance across the whole service system. It retains a relentless focus on colleague development, learning and support. As a result, its children are experiencing ever increasing levels of stability and positive outcomes.
Gweres Tus Yowynk (Helping Young People)
Against a backdrop of increasing numbers of adolescent children coming into care, criticism that suggested local authorities were not adequately supporting adolescents to stay at home, and escalating associated costs for residential care and independent fostering agencies, Cornwall Council decided to look at alternative models of support for children on the edge of care. It set up a specialist adolescent service, Gweres Tus Yowynk, in recognition of the need to build resilience and coping skills within familial networks to let young people remain within their families, extended families or with friends in their local community.
Ealing Council Children’s Services
Ealing LBC is at the centre of innovation, tackling the challenges of a rising and young population, increasingly complex demand for services and significantly reducing resources in the current climate of austerity. The authority is delivering two major service transformations and creative programmes that are ensuring better outcomes for the borough’s diverse population, while unlocking resources that can be reinvested in frontline early intervention and learning lessons that are being replicated nationally.
East Renfrewshire Council
Family Firm is an innovative programme supporting East Renfrewshire’s young people with experience of care into sustainable work-related activities. Strong partnership working is at the core of Family Firm, between council services, skills agencies, local businesses, youth intensive support services and with the young people themselves. Since its inception in 2016, Family Firm has supported 60 care experienced young people into 130 work-related activities. Through a long-term, relationship-based approach supported by a ‘no fails’ policy, East Renfrewshire’s young people have grown in confidence and skills, with 25% of current recruits already reaching employment and 100% of those surveyed saying the programme had a positive long-term impact on their life.
East Renfrewshire Council
East Renfrewshire HSCP children’s services
In 2015, East Renfrewshire children and families services set out to take risks. Limited resources and increasing demand meant a new approach to reducing risk and improving future outcomes was needed. Strong existing partnerships with other services gave it a good starting point, but it challenged itself to positively shift the balance of care and put the voices of our children and families at the centre of its vision. The council undertook a redesign on a tiered model of targeted interventions that has captured the attention of colleagues in other areas in Scotland. By harnessing the benefits of integration and seeking new opportunities, it has significantly reduced its spending on residential accommodation, increased foster placements, reduced caseloads and developed its staff to deliver evidence-based, targeted interventions.
Hartlepool BC’s children’s services is an ambitious, innovative and strong performing service. A recent Ofsted inspection said local arrangements are “highly effective” and rated three categories as good and a fourth category – the experiences and progress of children in care and care leavers – as outstanding.
North Lincolnshire Council
Services for children
North Lincolnshire Council believes that children should live at home, with their family, in their community, and as such orientates its resources and practice to that end. However, when children have to live elsewhere it acts as proud corporate parents. The council’s success can be seen in the feedback it receives from children, in the outcomes for children, and in its frontline workforce and their commitment to these children. The council believes its success derives from strong and steadfast leadership, long-term political investment, a flourishing workforce and a commitment to leading integrated partnerships.
West Sussex CC
Children’s services transformation
In the past two years, children’s services in West Sussex have been transformed. Rising demand pressures and reduced funding required radical change. The council’s ambition was to take a whole system approach and address the thorny issues holistically, such as cultural change, social work practice and relationships with partners. Taking a long-term view of its transformation requirements and using its strategic partnership with a professional services firm has enabled the council to work at pace and see real improvements to the services it provides. It has delivered success for vulnerable children and young people across the county.
A word from the award’s sponor
AlphaBiolabs understands that local authorities face multiple challenges when it comes to child protection matters. We work hard to ensure that DNA and substance abuse analysis is not one of them. With cutting-edge, award-winning innovation we have developed rapid DNA, drug and alcohol testing to help ease the load for busy teams. We have been working with local authorities for almost 15 years and are proud to be sponsoring the LGC Awards. The recognition of hard-working child protection teams across the UK is essential and underlines our commitment to this important service.
Kath O’Dwyer, acting chief executive, Cheshire East Council
David Thomas, managing director, AlphaBiolabs
Ian Thomas, chief executive, Kingston upon Thames RBC