Making Integration Happen seeks to implement and test the transition of children’s services to a new, legally separate entity that has the capacity to take on all delegated statutory duties.
The alternative delivery model will allow greater flexibility to set the vision and the focus on children’s outcomes through a framework of partnership relationships. This change represents a whole-system solution to the challenge of improving children’s outcomes at a time of rising demand and reducing resources.
The project aims to deliver value for money through economies of scale, starting locally, then further afield as the new organisation considers supporting other local authorities and bidding for appropriate contracts through the procurement processes of different commissioners across the region. The project hopes to mitigate the growing gap in demand and resources and drive whole system innovation and improvement in specific areas of need. It is hoped this will bring a cultural change that enables greater creativity and agility, reflecting the ambitions of our best people. The Trust will aim to achieve outcomes on a par with national leading organisations on a range of measures, broadly categorised under the themes of education, health and social care.
The Cabinet decision to proceed with an integrated children’s service directorate rather than an alternative delivery model represented a fundamental shift in the project. However, the overall vision of more effective integration between social care, education and health is unchanged and the leadership are confident that improved outcomes for children via integration can still be achieved through the establishment of the Together for Families directorate and the crucial inclusion of public health nursing.
As of March 2020, public health nursing staff have transferred across to joint education and social care staff in Together for Families. The new integrated children’s services directorate provides an opportunity to make integration a reality for children and families in Cornwall. Local family partnerships are now established, with strong partnership membership and two rounds of meeting completed so far. Local plans have been finalised and Task and Finish Groups are working in every locality on the priorities identified in the plans. There has been further work to develop the range of service and interventions available through Family Hubs to make sure that all families have easy access to the right help when they need it.
DfE funded independent evaluation will be published in 2020.