This programme need to investing $100 million over 5 years to support up to the local authorities to improve work with families to safely reduce the number of children entering care.

The programme will support the selected local authorities to roll out one of several children’s social care innovation programme projects in their own area.

These projects aim to enable more children to stay at home in safe and stable family environments, so that fewer children need to be taken into care.

They will do this by:

strengthening local practice systems to more effectively meet the needs of children and young people
developing services that build resilience in families
enabling social workers to manage risk more confidently, so children can stay safely within the home
We are working with What Works for Children’s Social Care to evaluate the impact of this programme.

The projects
Local authorities joining the programme will be fully supported to help implement their chosen model. They will receive funding and on-the-ground support to do this from the local authorities who designed the projects (Leeds, Hertfordshire or North Yorkshire).

The family valued
This programme seeks to create a shift in culture towards working ‘with’ families rather than doing things ‘to’ them. Services that draw on existing strengths and relationships in the wider family network are used to support continuity of familial relationships. This includes widening the availability of family group conferences, a service that engages families in the processes of devising effective plans for children while also providing them with support.

The family safeguarding
This programme focuses on meeting the needs of both children and the adults around them. By working with multidisciplinary teams, which include adult specialist workers, families can access tailored support to address their needs and the risks posed to children. The programme also uses motivational interviewing, a counselling approach aimed at empowering parents to make sustainable changes that will benefit children.