There are a number of factors that make an alternative delivery model (ADM) an exciting option to explore. We are keen to de-couple the commissioning from the deliver aspects of children’s social care as we believe this enhances the focus on children and will provide mechanisms for greater accountability to deliver excellence through an arms length organisation. We are keen to develop the new organisation by involving staff and service users in its design with a key focus on having a solid, shared value base. By creating a new ADM we want new approaches to be tested and free up time to be spent on the core business of delivering social care.
Our innovation will create an independent, not-for-profit trust that will deliver the authority’s core children’s social care and safeguarding duties, whilst improving outcomes for children. Delivering for Children will encompass the following services: early help and safeguarding, looked after children, care leavers, SEND and quality and improvement.
Developing the trust model will involve a range of changes. Firstly, the staffing model will be restructured and will focus on emphasising vertical decision-making, which will connect frontline practitioners with senior managers, streamlining the decision process. Secondly, commissioning will be modelled to enforce tighter regulations with greater incentives to operate effectively. This should create improved commissioning practices that are able to respond to changing needs more efficiently. Furthermore, a system will be developed that prioritises using the most effective provider for particular services. This will replace a system where the local authority delivered all services, regardless of quality or accessibility of better providers.
The project is in its infancy and we are detailing the high level project plan, engaging the project team and exploring models of co-production. We intend to launch our new organisation in Spring 2019.