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



753 cases closed to Social Care



143 cases stepped down to Early Help



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

Do you need support in progressing your current child in need cases?

Innovate CYPS’ 14-week Children in Need (CIN) programme significantly reduces the long-term reliance on CIN plans, eliminates drift and identifies those children at risk, earlier.

Find out more
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.

Explore how
Edge of Care

Do you need support to reduce your Edge of Care costs and breaking the cycle of care?

Our award-winning solution brings statutory social work and multidisciplinary support together to deliver sustainable positive outcomes and huge cost-savings.

Break the cycle with Innovate
High-Cost Placements

Do you need support to secure better outcomes for children with complex needs?

We can support you in providing a sustainable alternative by managing cases to identify suitable stable placements or by taking children and young people through our residential Innovate Therapeutic Care programme.

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Discharge of Care

Do you have a high number of children at home on care orders that you need support in reducing?

Innovate can support you by reducing your children-looked-after (CLA) numbers and create direct cost-savings.

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Do you need additional support due to further requirements around capacity to manage your most complex cases?

We provide extra capacity to handle incoming cases and/or to work those that may have drifted, and introduce proven sustainable longer-term solutions to reduce the risk of drift and delay.

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Children with Disabilities

Do you need support to manage your current cohort of children with disabilities?

Innovate CYPS’ 14-week Children with Disabilities programme reduces costs whilst identifying new care pathways for children, young people and their families.

Find out how
Service Auditing

How confident are you that you know the quality of your service?

In complex children’s social work environments, it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact causes of under-performance. Whether you’re preparing for Ofsted or are on an improvement journey, knowing what ‘Good’ looks like is important.

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  • Children in Need
  • Duty & Assessment
  • Edge of Care
  • High-Cost Placements
  • 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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