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Torbay Council

Project start date: February 2015

We (Torbay Council) were awarded £1.25m to bring together children and adult’s health and social care functions, delivered by an independent provider and to establish a public service trust to allow the pooling of budgets and joint commissioning.

Project Summary


Within Torbay, demand for children’s services exceeded resources. The service has been driven by a fragile economic development landscape and constraints on funding. Furthermore, the social care system has seen significant restructuring due to recent interventions, which has limited capacity development within services.

For families, the ability to utilise services can, at times, be difficult due to a lack of coordination between services, differing organisational thresholds and re-direction between services leading to issues within families becoming entrenched.

Innovation Programme funding helped to establish the Social Work Innovation Fund Torbay (SWIFT) to improve the way children, young people and families are supported by children’s social care organisations.

Commencing in May 2015 the project comprised three discrete elements: the creation of Early Help Practices (EHP) – multi-professional, locality focused hubs; the formation of a Public Services Trust (PST) – a unique legal framework to facilitate pooled budgeting, joint commissioning and attract social investment; and the transfer of Children’s Services to an Integrated Care Organisation (ICO).

Project contact details

Please contact the local authority for further detail

Project evaluators

Dartington Social Research Unit

Project partners

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