Newham Delivering for Children project seeks to de-couple the commissioning from the delivery aspects of children’s social care, in order to focus on children and provide mechanisms for greater accountability to deliver excellence.
The project involves design with staff and service users, with a key focus on having a solid, shared value base. In creating a new alternative delivery model, the project aims to test new approaches and free up time to be spent on the core business of delivering social care. The project involves creating an independent, not-for-profit trust that delivers the authority’s core children’s social care and safeguarding duties, whilst improving outcomes for children. The programme, Delivering for Children, encompasses the following services: early help and safeguarding, looked after children, care leavers, special educational needs and disability (SEND) and quality and improvement.
Developing the trust model involves 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. Finally, a system will be developed that prioritises using the most effective provider for particular services.
A decision was taken to cease funding this project in October 2018.
DfE funded independent evaluation will be published in 2020.