£4m funding to Triborough

Central London councils to trial radical new approach to child protection.

An innovative way of delivering child protection services is to be piloted across three central London councils, transforming the way social care teams work with families to prevent children suffering harm and abuse.

The tri-borough councils of Hammersmith & Fulham; Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster will share £4m from the Government’s Innovation Programme to trial a completely new approach to the role of social workers.

Andrew Christie, Executive Director of Children’s Services across for all three councils, said: “Under our pilot, social workers will work more intensively with families to better understand and help them tackle their difficulties. They will help families to build on their strengths and to help them improve their parenting so that children can remain safely at home”

“Our pilot will act as a blueprint for social work services focused on practice, rather than process. This funding will help us to transform social care for children and families in central London and develop an expert and trustworthy service for those who most need it.”

The new model will:

  • Create more time to work with families, by cutting down on bureaucracy and changing the focus from plans and paperwork to effective, hands on and intensive work
  • Ensure families with complex needs have one person working with them, who can build a trusting relationship with the family to address issues, rather than referring families to multiple agencies and departments, which is counter-productive
  • Develop staff expertise, knowledge and confidence to make them more effective in helping families to change
  • Focus on practice, not process

The expected outcomes:

  • A 20% reduction in numbers of looked after children and those subject to child protection plans;
  • A significant reduction in people needing repeat support
  • Improvement in morale, job satisfaction and therefore retention of quality social workers