Children in Need:
North East Lincolnshire

“I have been incredibly impressed by quality of Innovate CYPS’ work. Not just with the support given to children and their families, but with their contribution to our improvement plans.”
Dawn Alaszewski, Head of Children’s Services, North East Lincolnshire Council

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753

753 cases closed to Social Care

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143

143 cases stepped down to Early Help

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1226

1,226 children subject to CIN plans were assessed and progressed

The Challenge

North East Lincolnshire Council was experiencing a significant increase in the demand for statutory services. Caseloads were excessively high. This was preventing social workers from undertaking effective work with children and their families.

North East Lincolnshire Council, like many local authorities, needed an immediate solution to help manage the high volume of cases, whilst they took remedial action to improve its response to children and young people.

North East Lincolnshire Council needed a partner they could trust to take full accountability of the cases. One that would work intensively with children and their families whilst they worked on their highly-targeted improvement plan to address the causes of drift and delay.

The Solution:

North East Lincolnshire commissioned the Innovate CYPS 14-week Child in Need (CIN) programme to work through a cohort of Child in Need cases.

The overall aim was to progress children who had been subject to CIN plans for a significant period of time to ensure children were safe and receiving the correct level of support.

Clear pre-agreed project KPIs were put in place, with robust reporting procedures. Our Project Managers attended weekly/fortnightly face-to-face meetings.

As a partner, we were flexible with our support. Towards the latter part of the project, it was agreed that the scope would move to assessing those children who were Looked After, and with intervention could consider a plan of reunification. In total we reviewed and updated 58 Single Assessments for those children who were Looked After.

The results

Innovate CYPS supported 1,226 children over 12 months, closing 61% of cases to social services and stepping down a further 12%. Crucially, 174 cases escalated to Initial Child Protection Conference.

As part of Innovate CYPS’ legacy work, we embedded best practice. We held CIN review panels, where the local authority’s social workers presented cases they had worked on. Reflective case discussions enabled social workers to refocus and progress cases through SMART actions.

 

The impact

Commenting on the impact of the project, Dawn says:

“Some of the cases Innovate CYPS’ social workers managed were very complex – they’ve made a hugely positive impact in those children’s lives.

“As a service, we’re also in a much better place. Our auditing process shows that service quality has been consistently improving. Our service is no longer characterised by drift and delay, with over 90% of CIN and CP visits completed within timeframe.”

North East Lincolnshire Council now has a much clearer understanding of what ‘Good’ looks like, and a strong improvement plan.

Workforce stability is also improving with the recruitment of permanent social workers into the service who have a good understanding on the consistent application of thresholds from day one.

Key statistics

  • 1,226 children subject to Child in Need (CIN) plans were assessed and progressed
  • 753 cases closed to Social Care
  • 143 cases stepped down to Early Help
  • 74 cases escalated to Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC)
  • 8 children became Looked After
  • 2 children were cared for under private fostering arrangements

Mentoring and reflecting

In total, 101 mentoring and reflection meetings were held with managers to enhance case management in their teams.

Feedback to the Director of Children’s Services and Paula Jemson, the project sponsor, also took place on a regular basis where direct feedback was provided.

Commenting on the long-term impact of the thematic auditing and how it has informing best practice, Paula said:

“My advice would be to make full use of Innovate CYPS’ auditors and practitioners and soak up their knowledge and approach. By working closely with Innovate CYPS we’ve got a clear improvement plan. Now that we know what ‘Good’ looks like, we’re closely monitoring the quality of case management and where changes need to be made.”

Children in Need

Children in Need

Reduce your reliance on long-term CIN plans. Our highly experienced CIN social work team will take on statutory case management and follow a locally-tailored, sustainable and intensive home-based intervention programme. We’ll leave you with reduced CIN numbers and a legacy model to prevent drift and avoid future delay.

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Duty & Assessment

Duty & Assessment

Are you looking for more capacity within your duty and assessment team to clear a backlog of cases? Or do you reprieve to look at a service restructure. We can help by managing cases coming in for referral and assessment. So you can be confident your local authority is meeting its statutory responsibilities, whilst we give your staff the chance to bring their cases up-to-date and leave your service with manageable caseloads.

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Edge of Care

Edge of Care

Reduce your edge of care costs and improve the life chances of vulnerable children and young people. Our solution brings statutory social work and multidisciplinary support together in a far more structured and focused way to deliver sustainable positive outcomes and huge cost-savings. Our aim is simple – to keep the young people we support safe and prevent them from being unnecessarily placed into care.

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High-Cost Placements

High-Cost Placements

Our managed service model is proven to increase the range of foster care provision available to meet the needs of children who would otherwise be placed within high-cost residential or external foster care placements. In return, you’ll save on your placement budget, increase your in-house foster service capacity and capabilities to secure better outcomes and reduce the number of placement moves for children and young people.

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MASH

MASH

Are you struggling to keep up with what is an impossible number of MASH referrals? Let us take the pressure off and help you develop a more robust, timely MASH. We’ll manage all contacts and referrals coming through your front-door and work with you to co-produce a new MASH model. One that secures timely outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and their families.

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Discharge of Care

Discharge of Care

Could addressing a much-overlooked area of discharge of care orders reduce LAC numbers and create direct cost-savings? By introducing a new model that promotes the timely discharge of care orders and the conversion of foster carers or kinship carers into Special Guardians, we can achieve measurable cost-savings. All whilst securing plans of permanence for children and young people.

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Safeguarding

Safeguarding

Do you have concerns about the length of time children are subject to child protection plans? If yes, how do you improve the timeliness of care proceedings and ensure that cases are front loaded? Holding case management for an agreed amount of time, we will dramatically increase the pace of action in progressing complex cases. We’ll also work with you to introduce proven sustainable longer-term solutions to reduce the risk of drift and delay.

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Children with Disabilities

Children with Disabilities

In most cases, needs of those children and young people can be met within Early Help or outside of social care within the local authority’s existing offer. Proven to close up to 30% of cases to social services and step down a further 20%, Innovate CYPS’ 14-week Children with Disabilities (CWD) programme reduces costs whilst identifying new care pathways for children, young people and their families.

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Service Auditing

Service Auditing

Are you preparing for an Ofsted inspection and want to understand where your services are at in terms of practice quality and performance? Our team will review your case files and practice across the child’s pathway to give you a thorough understanding of the areas that most need your attention.  As part of our knowledge-transfer, we also mentor your front-line managers on our auditing process for a 360 approach.

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  • Children in Need
  • Duty & Assessment
  • Edge of Care
  • High-Cost Placements
  • MASH
  • Discharge of Care
  • Safeguarding
  • Children with Disabilities
  • Service Auditing

Want to know more?

Contact us to find out more about our children in need (CIN) programme.

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