Newsletter 8: July 2017

This newsletter contains information on newly announced funding for additional Innovation Programme projects, an update on the publication of evaluation reports and a summary of our learning events.


£30 million funding for 24 new projects

We are very excited to announce that funding has been approved for an additional 24 Innovation Programme projects. This means that to date 95 projects have now been funded. We look forward to seeing the impact these new projects will have on children’s social care.

Robert Goodwill, the Minister for Children and Families, made the announcement at the ADCS conference and said:

“Through the Innovation Programme, we continue to fund exciting and pioneering projects that look to shake-up our traditional approach to social work… Together they proffer a broad and balanced portfolio which both test new innovations, and scale and spread those that have been successful in Round One of the programme.”

To learn more about the new projects click here and to hear about the announcement click here.



This month marked a big step forward in our learning journey with the publication of the final batch of Innovation Programme Round One project evaluation reports, which can be found here. In these you can find:

  • An evaluation of North Yorkshire County Council’s ‘No Wrong Door’ (NWD) project aiming to improve the stability of young people’s accommodation; their participation and achievements in education, employment and training (EET); and to reduce high-risk behaviours, including criminal activity. The evaluation findings were positive with emerging evidence that NWD is keeping young people out of the care system and helping them get back into education, employment and training
  • An evaluation of Leeds’s restorative practice approach and expansion of Family Group Conferencing, with positive early signs of a reduction in the numbers of both Looked After Children and Child Protection Plans
  • An assessment of how Hertfordshire’s multi-agency partnership is working and its positive impact on both service quality and the length of time children spend in care


Thematic Reports

Also published this month are the thematic reports which provide a summary of evidence that has emerged across Innovation Programme projects in children’s social care. They seek to demonstrate the added value of a having a programme of projects exploring some of the commonalities and differences across the 57 Round One projects.

The thematic reports have been published by the REES Centre and are also available to download on the Spring website.


Key highlights from our learning activities

Our month of learning was a great success, with projects sharing learning across three key topic areas. We explored Doncaster and Newham’s innovative approaches to tackling domestic violence; heard from Islington and Hertfordshire about the benefits and challenges of implementing new social work methodologies; and learnt more about the work North Yorkshire are doing to improve the outcomes for Looked after Children.

We are busy creating some ‘Quick Guides’ focusing on these topic areas. We hope to share these with you towards the end of August. They will include evidence, links and useful information from Round One project evaluation reports as well as discussions from our learning events. Watch this space!

If you’d like to see some of the insight boards we created for previous learning events click here.


A recording of the Complex Safeguarding webinar is now available to view…

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust and the London Borough of Newham kicked off our month of learning by discussing their approaches to domestic violence during our webinar on 30th June. Doncaster and Newham are at different stages of their innovation journey and have been sharing their experiences. In the webinar they talked about their shared learning in using targeted interventions to address domestic violence, working with partners and the opportunities and barriers they’ve faced in implementing their interventions.

Colleagues who viewed the webinar found it useful and you might too! Click here to view the recording.



If you have any questions, or would like further information about the programme, visit our website or email us at

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