A proportion of looked-after children find themselves in unsettled environments, which causes multiple disruptions to their wellbeing and development. These children tend to have complex interdependent needs and require consistent support to ensure they avoid negative outcomes. Failure to do this can result in poorer than average outcomes in areas from education, to employment, to criminal justice which carries significant financial and social costs.The innovation will focus on looked-after children with the most complex needs that includes children at risk of CSE and boys with offending behaviour. This group is increasingly difficult to find foster placements for, with a high rate of placement breakdown.
Bradford is working closely with North Yorkshire County Council and the fostering network to adapt, adopt and combine two tried-and-tested approaches to social care. North Yorkshire’s ‘No Wrong Door’ will be implemented on a larger scale with eight residential hubs being set up to provide a range of residential options as well as range of services that young people can utilise.
This is combined with the Mockingbird Family Model of fostering, which provides wrap-around peer support in a community setting for foster carers and young people. The integrated model will include Signs of Safety and the attachment-based PACE approach to ensure a consistent therapeutic approach across all care settings. The partnership working involved in setting up the model has already resulted in a drop in adolescents being placed out of area, as the ethos and ambition of the programme spreads across agencies.
The evaluation design of our project includes impact, process and economic evaluations, mapping will be completed to understand how different elements of B Positive interrelate and inform our understanding of causality and impact. Our evaluation’s primary focus will be the NWD and Mockingbird elements of the programme within Bradford; aligning the Mockingbird evaluation with the national evaluation being led by colleagues at the Rees Centre to facilitate between site comparisons.
Rees Centre Oxford University and York University
Education, Children’s Social Care, Bradford District Care Trust and West Yorkshire Police