Deadline passed for Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for Targeted Funding Opportunity policy areas

In November, the Department for Education announced a Targeted Funding Opportunity through the Innovation Programme to develop and test innovations focusing on the four policy areas highlighted in the Department for Education’s policy paper ‘Putting Children First’. The sector was invited to take part in problem analysis workshops so that together we could further define the problems and opportunities in each of the areas.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an EOI for one of the policy areas, please note that the deadline for submission has now passed and we will no longer be accepting EOIs.

If you have submitted an EOI and your application is successful at the expression of interest stage you will be invited to a solution generation event and some coaching sessions may be made available as you develop your ideas.

Please see below for further details on each of the policy areas that are a focus in this round for funding and a reminder of the background to these targeted funding opportunities:

 

Testing the use of social investment to improve support for care leavers

Please click here for the policy brief

Please click here for the problem analysis workshop learning output

Please click here for the FAQ for this policy area

Please hold in your diary the 20th February 2017 in Manchester for a workshop to develop your solution should your EOI be successful. We will confirm your place and notify you of details if your EOI is successful.

 

 

Building on the recommendations of the Narey report on residential care, particularly piloting ‘Staying Close’ and regional commissioning of residential care

Please click here for the policy brief for Residential Care and click here for the policy brief for Staying Close

Please click here for the problem analysis workshop learning output

Please click here for the FAQ for Residential Care and click here for the FAQ for Staying Close

Please click here to read the Department for Education’s response to Sir Martin Narey’s independent review of children’s residential care in England

Please hold in your diary the 22nd February 2017 in Manchester for a workshop to develop your solution should your EOI be successful. We will confirm your place and notify you of details if your EOI is successful.

 

 

Testing and developing understanding of targeted support to prevent children entering child protection systems

Please click here for the policy brief

Please click here for the problem analysis workshop learning output

Please hold in your diary the 27th February 2017 in Manchester for a workshop to develop your solution should your EOI be successful. We will confirm your place and notify you of details if your EOI is successful.

 

 

Testing alternative delivery models for children’s social care

Please click here for the policy brief

Please click here for the problem analysis workshop learning output

Please hold in your diary the 1st March 2017 in London for a workshop to develop your solution should your EOI be successful. We will confirm your place and notify you of details if your EOI is successful.

 

Targeted Funding Opportunity overview

The Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme is working with the sector to radically transform the children’s social care system so that we achieve better life chances and improved social mobility for children receiving support and better value for money for the sector. The programme aims to inspire practice change and find new and innovative ways to improve outcomes.

There is currently a targeted opportunity through the Innovation Programme to develop and test innovations focusing on the four policy areas highlighted in the Department for Education’s policy paper ‘Putting Children First’:

  • Building on the recommendations of the Narey report on residential care, particularly piloting ‘Staying Close and regional commissioning of residential care;
  • Testing the use of social investment to improve support for care leavers;
  • Testing alternative delivery models for children’s social care; and
  • Testing and developing understanding of targeted support to prevent children entering child protection systems

To date the Innovation Programme has stimulated new thinking in the sector, and is testing a wide range of innovations. Between May 2014 and March 2016 the Innovation Programme provided £110M of funding to 53 projects involving 90 local authorities.  There has been an overwhelming amount of interest in the programme – it has generated great ideas and taken many much further by testing new ways of working in children’s social care in a range of different settings and circumstances.  We are beginning to see the impact the Innovation Programme is having on improved outcomes for children and families, and to understand which interventions are most successful in improving the performance of children’s social care.  Ofsted’s Annual Report cites that ‘research-led ideas can have a transformative effect on children, young people and families when staff are supported to deliver them and leaders critically assess their impact’, and we are seeking to continue to support this through the programme.

To transform practice more widely we must focus on building a world-leading evidence base and sharing the learning from the programme. Over time, the new What Works Centre will bring together in one place evidence of excellent practice and learning from the Innovation Programme and more widely, providing a trusted voice on best practice that is built on solid evidence.

Robust evaluation is integral to the Innovation Programme and early learning from the first set of projects that we funded is showing:

  • Innovation is successfully delivered when there is a shared vision and a clear practice methodology;
  • Better integration across health, social care, education, youth services and the police are critical in building more impactful relationships with children and families;
  • It is important to do a needs analysis and to get clarity about the children you want to reach before undertaking service design or re-design;
  • Robust and supportive social work supervision and systems based on evidence and reflective practice is critical to positive change;
  • Recruiting specialist practitioners has taken longer than projects expected.

We want to ensure we are building on early learning and deepening the evidence base, as well as identifying and filling gaps. Therefore, we are currently developing plans for how we can build on the evidence base which is starting to emerge from the Innovation Programme, developing the forensic approach to testing what works that will be at the heart of the new Children’s Social Care What Works Centre. We aim to publish further details of our plans early in 2017.

For further information see the how to get involved document or contact innovation@springconsortium.com