Children in Need: North West Council



We worked on 257 CIN cases in 14 weeks



58% of cases closed to social care



8% of cases stepped down to Early Help

Innovate Services, children in need, CIN, CIN plan, assessments, statutory timescales, case study

The challenge

The North West Council were experiencing exceptional demand on their Children’s Services resources. Looking for extra capacity to give their internal team reprieve, the Council opted for the Innovate CYPS 14-week Child in Need (CIN) programme as a practical, cost-effective solution. We were contracted to provide a fully managed service for 14 weeks focusing on 257 open CIN cases. Concentrating on intensive intervention with children and families, our CIN programme safely reduces the need for ongoing statutory intervention and provides better outcomes for children and young people.

Our approach

Our CIN solution saw us mobilise a team of ten Social Workers, two Managers and one Family Support Practitioner that quickly stabilised the caseload management situation and assessed cases to identify the correct level of intervention. During week 1, our project manager reviewed the cases to ensure they were within the scope of the programme. One week later, our co-located team of experienced social workers started work. Their first task was to make sure all children were seen within five working days of allocation.

Our social workers followed a structured CIN review framework with a CIN review meeting held every four weeks. This helped to ensure decisions were made for de-escalation or escalation at the appropriate time, depending on risk and need.

A key aspect in assessing the correct level of need / intervention was our child-centred SMART planning. We set clear project KPIs and regularly provided the Council with detailed analysis of progress to date. Our Project Managers and Senior Manager also attended weekly face-to-face meetings at the Council’s offices.

Innovate Services, children in need, CIN, CIN plan, assessments, statutory timescales, case study

The results

A key aspect in the success of the programme was the SMART care planning with children and families. This reduced the reliance on long-term CIN plans and the need for statutory intervention.

Our social work team took 123 families and 257 children through the Innovate CYPS’ CIN programme, resulting in an average CIN plan duration of 11 weeks. 100% of assessments were completed within statutory timescales.

One child became Looked-After and 8% of cases were stepped down to early help. 58% of cases were closed. 66% of cases were safely stepped down or closed as a direct result of the programme.

With a new more robust CIN model in place, the council is in a better position to avoid future drift and delay.

As part of the legacy work, we have left the Council with business process maps and ‘aid memoires’ as guides for social workers and managers to embed smarter ways of working to prevent drift and delay on future cases.

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What our clients say

“We needed a trusted partner capable of case-managing and progressing CIN cases whilst we focused on making service improvements. Innovate CYPS did not disappoint. We were impressed by the team’s intensive work in progressing CIN cases. With knowledge-transfer a key aspect of the project, we’ve now introduced SMART care planning to prevent future drift and delay.”

North West Council

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Service.

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