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Children Services Transformation Programme

Project start date: January 2020

We (Northamptonshire County Council) were awarded up to £4m to develop an alternative delivery model for children’s services, focused on services for vulnerable children, involving both structural change and practice improvement. Through this programme we will demonstrate the transformation from requires improvement to getting to good and provide an ADM blueprint for others.

Project Summary


Currently there are too many families not accessing the targeted early help system; too many looked after children compared with national and regional averages, a cycle of re-referrals, repeat assessments and interventions and being part of a large local authority means that problems take longer to address and there is limited flexibility.
Our ambition is to develop an Alternative Delivery Model for Children’s Services that is singularly focused on support for vulnerable children and that addresses the issues below.

Our Transformation Programme will improve outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families through an improved pathway to access services and improved practice. We will implement a new organisational design that will enable practitioners to practice, will tackle ineffective systems and pathways and rebalance our spending profile though a value chain diagnostic. We will identify clear progression routes for staff, embedding targeted early support into the professional disciplines of both social care and education.

Our design of blended teams in localities will ensure that there is a fully integrated ‘team around the child’ approach, developing strong relationships with families though a strength based approach supported by implementing Signs of Safety across the whole of Children’s Services. This will be delivered through an ADM that will allow us the freedom to bring in resources through trading alongside an innovative charitable arm to improve outcomes for looked after children and care leavers. The new ADM will provide the flexibility and agility to stabilise the workforce and reduce the reliance on agency staff through an effective recruitment and retention strategy that provides multi-professional progression and practice development opportunities.

Project contact details

Sharon Muldoon 


Project evaluators

University of Sussex/Research in Practice

Project partners

Northamptonshire Health Foundation Trust

Clinical Commissioning Group

Police and Crime Commissioner

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