Projects being funded

We are delighted to announce 5 most recent round 2 projects and 19 Targeted Funding Opportunity projects on 6 July 2017 which have been included in this list:-


Round 2 projects

Barnardo’s: Up to £1.7m to expand the role of the National FGM Centre which they, along with the Local Government Association established in 2015 with Innovation Programme funding to develop a system change in social work with girls and families affected by female genital mutilation (FGM) . The expansion will add three high prevalence areas to the scope of the centre and extend the centre’s work to cover other harmful traditional practices.

Credo Care: Up to £1.1m to explore bringing young disabled people in out-of-area residential care back into area via specialist foster placements. Credo Care are testing a new type of foster caring, working with Hertfordshire and Staffordshire to focus on those young people with the most complex needs.

Derby City Council: Up to £771k to expand their local area co-ordination work to support care leavers as they transition to adulthood before and after they leave care. They will focus on supporting care leavers’ self-esteem and social inclusion. They aim to improve mental, emotional and physical health, and to promote financial security, suitable accommodation and engaging in appropriate education, employment or training.

Munro, Turnell and Murphy (MTM): Up to £1.95m over two years to work with the 10 local authorities to complete implementation of Signs of Safety, building and enhancing existing learning. The aim is to demonstrate in a conclusive way how practice and organisational implementation works so that local authorities can be supported to adopt or adapt Signs of Safety.

The Adolescent and Children’s Trust (TACT): Up to £1.2m over three financial years to support the commissioning out of Peterborough City Council’s fostering, adoption and permanency service to TACT. Peterborough and TACT propose to secure permanency without delay for all children and young people in care, or who may become looked after, by offering children and families the same high levels of assessment, preparation, training, support and review regardless of legal status.


Targeted Funding Opportunity projects

Targeted Support

Coventry City Council: Up to £871k to replicate and scale Project Crewe’s innovative model in providing targeted support to children in need. This will utilise integrated cross-sector working and personalised interventions including the use of volunteers, to reduce escalations to Looked After Children and Child Protection, re-referrals and the length of time children are in need.

London Borough of Camden: Up to £1.3m to design and test the early provision of structured, intensive support to Camden’s Children in Need cohort. These are young people aged 10-13 who experience frequent crisis presentations to the social work service and are disproportionately represented within their looked after children and child protection populations.

London Borough of Ealing: Up to £1.6m to fund Building My Future (BMF), a creative new approach to identify and test innovative targeted interventions. These interventions are co-produced with vulnerable children, young people and families with complex learning / behaviour needs aged 11 and above through to early adulthood.

Royal Borough of Greenwich: Up to £1.95m to implement a system wide approach addressing the ’stop-start‘ into Children’s Social Care for children and families experiencing domestic violence. This will be achieved by combining interventions that address the causes of domestic violence and tackling cultural anxiety through the application of Science of Compassion.


Alternative Delivery Models

ADCS West Midlands: Up to £1.5m to fund an innovative joint venture regional children’s social work academy. The aim is to transform recruitment, retention, development, quality and cost to create an autonomous, flexible, skilled and supported children’s social care workforce.

Cornwall Council: Up to £1.9m to fund the set-up of a Cornwall-owned entity that the Council will delegate all statutory duties for children’s education and social care, and, in future, community health services as well.

London Borough of Newham: Up to £2m to create a separate legal entity to Newham Council to deliver Children’s Social Care and Safeguarding.

Newcastle City Council: Up to £1.145m to explore innovative approaches to delivering services for children, young people and their families.


Residential Care

Essex County Council: Up to £3m for the partnership to develop an alternative to residential care, for children who have had multiple, unsuccessful placements. Through intensive targeted support in the family home combined with periods in care, the burden and gravity of intervention will be reduced.

London Borough of Havering: Up to £835k to create a sub-regional approach to commissioning residential placements for young people aged 11-17 in North East London and bring together one or two providers to manage up to 35 placements locally. The project will test the use of block contracts, incentivising the delivery of outcomes and three-way coproduction between the sub-regional partnership, young people, and providers. It will also invest in workforce development opportunities.

South London Commissioning Programme: Up to £1m to develop sub-regional commissioning arrangements for looked after children across six boroughs. This will include: developing a sub-regional outcomes-based commissioning approach, standardising best practise, building the capabilities of providers, maximising LA purchasing power, developing a strategic sub-regional approach to sufficiency planning, and developing a blueprint for sub-regional commissioning which is scalable across the country. The project will test co-production with providers and young people, and look at how consortia can tackle shared issues.


Staying Close

Break Charity: Up to £1.3m, to offer 70 young people who are care leavers across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, the option to stay close by living together in two to three bed ‘moving on’ accommodation.

Bristol City Council: Up to £567k to strengthen and develop Bristol’s core offer to children living in and leaving its children’s homes through a range of different staying close options.

Fair Ways: Up to £483k to provide a secure, four year accommodation pathway with support for young people making the transition from residential care. This will start with an initial placement in semi-independent accommodation followed by a move into an independent tenancy, whilst maintaining key relationships throughout the whole process.

North East Lincolnshire Council: Up to £887k to offer all young people in North East Lincolnshire’s local authority children’s homes the option to ‘Stay Close’, providing a holistic, coherent and integrated pathway for the 18+ cohort.

North Tyneside Council: Up to £837k to provide a provision for six young people who are leaving care, in co-located semi-independent accommodation.

Portsmouth City Council: Up to £649k to develop accommodation adjacent to an existing residential unit, and a separate five bed house to accommodate care leavers. This will involve a key worker structure supporting transition from residential to independent living, offering continuity of care, practical and emotional support and sustained relationships.

St Christopher’s Fellowship: Up to £585k to provide semi-independent accommodation for six young people who are leaving care; plus ‘pop-home’ opportunities for young people to return to their former children’s home at crisis points. It includes specific support to help young people experience improved emotional health and well-being, plus peer support programmes to help young people develop the knowledge and skills for independent living.

Suffolk County Council: Up to £787k to offer a Staying Close support package to young people in four of Suffolk’s local authority residential care homes and three private sector care homes.



We are delighted to announce 11 most recent round 2 projects on 20 March 2017 which have been included in this list:-

Round 2 projects

Rethinking children’s social work

Frontline (£3.73m) to scale and spread the Firstline programme to over 400 social work managers, across 3 years. Their intensive year-long programme seeks to transform good managers into excellent leaders through a modular approach.

Dorset County Council (£1.9m) over 4 years to deliver an ambitious transformation programme as part of their ‘Forward Together for Children’ initiative to drive whole system change to improve outcomes for all children and families in Dorset through prevention.

Slough Children’s Services Trust (£1.4m) to transform the staffing model by introducing Enhanced Hubs, a more dynamic way of delivering early help and support to children in need, introducing a practice model including Signs of Safety and a new domestic abuse assessment response.

London Borough of Newham (£2.6m) to develop their NewDay programme – protecting and sustaining effective change for children affected by domestic abuse.  NewDay will encompass; domestic abuse systemic practice training for social workers, more effective direct work with children, survivors and perpetrators, and extension of its highly regarded Virtual School to children subject of child in need and child protection plans.

Hertfordshire County Council (£11.6m) to extend their Family Safeguarding model to Luton, Peterborough, Bracknell Forest and West Berkshire. A whole system change approach to child protection.

London Borough of Havering (£2.4m) to offer a multi-agency systemic service for 11-24 year olds comprising social workers, foster carers, family therapists, Pathway practitioners and other specialists through a  co-produced framework of services.

Northamptonshire County Council (£4m) to develop an alternative delivery model (Trust) for children’s services, focused on services for vulnerable children, involving both structural change and practice improvement.


The House Project (led by Warwickshire) (£3.75m) over three years to build on the Round 1 House project (led by Stoke): working with care leavers to set up a business to re-furbish and manage housing that they then live in, and establishing five additional House Projects in Warwickshire, Solihull, Staffordshire, Islington and Cheshire East. The project also includes the establishment of a National Hub to support individual Local Authorities to replicate the project.

City of Bradford MDC (£3.144m) over 2 years to deliver a Rethinking Social Care project. This builds on the successes of North Yorkshires ‘No Wrong Door’ project, adapting the model to help to address the challenges faced in Bradford. This involves a new model of care for looked after children integrating Signs of Safety and the attachment-based P.A.C.E (Playfulness, Acceptance, Curiosity & Empathy) approach.

Coram-I (£1.026m) over 2 years to apply the expertise gained from our successful adoption improvement work to permanency planning and finding long-term foster placements with four local authorities. The project aims to ensure that appropriate permanency plans are decided without delay and, for children who will remain in care, that foster families are found who can support them until they leave care and beyond, as quickly as possible.

The Fostering Network and 12 delivery partners (£3.8m) to further develop Mockingbird, as well as expanding to new geographical areas.

Family Rights Group (£5m) to develop ‘Lifelong Links’  which aims to create life-long support networks for children and young people in care, providing them with practical and emotional help whilst in care and through the transition into independent living and beyond. Lifelong Links involves professionals using innovative ways of searching for and connecting with relatives and other adults who care about the child.’

Shared Lives Plus (£365k) to explore extending the Shared Lives model to support young people in care with additional needs as an alternative to foster care.

Catch 22 (£1.9m) Catch22 and Southwark Council will work in partnership with care leavers to test new approaches to improving outcomes.

Specialist interventions and target groups

Pause (£6.8m) to scale and spread the programme which works with women who have experienced (or are at risk of experiencing) repeated pregnancies that result in children needing to be removed from their care. The funding will enable Pause to open nine new Practices, building on learning from the seven pilot sites from round one; and allow them to intervene at an earlier stage by working with care leavers (aged 18-25).

London Borough of Hackney (£2m) to test ‘contextual safeguarding theory’. Working with the University of Bedfordshire to create a system in which practitioners can appropriately assess and intervene when risk of harm comes from beyond an adolescent’s family.

Calderdale Council (£444k) to support up to 50 young people at high risk by providing early, intensive intervention to young women, supporting them to become successful parents through an intensive young person centred programme, working to reduce the number of pregnancies and number of children being taken into care and enabling a single point of access to essential support.

The Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime and NHS England’s Child House (£744k) to improve support for children, young people and their non-offending families following incidents of sexual abuse or child sexual exploitation by bringing together NHS, social care, police, criminal justice and third sector services together under one roof; a “child house”.



Round 1 projects

Rethinking children’s social work – large-scale projects to transform the children’s social care system.

Catch 22 & Cheshire East Council (£1.4m) to pilot a new approach to delivering Children in Need services in Crewe. ‘Project Crewe’ involves some of the Council’s statutory social care functions being delegated to Catch 22 with services delivered by family practitioners (with oversight from a qualified social worker) working in a new ‘pod’ structure. Evaluation Summary

Doncaster Children’s Services Trust (£3.09m) to lead a joint project with local partners focussing on domestic abuse (an over-represented factor in referrals to children’s social care) and in particular its impact on the child, as a catalyst for wider system change. Evaluation Summary

Durham County Council (£3.26m) to redesign their entire social work service to work with families in a new way. They will create ten integrated ‘innovation’ teams across the county, introduce a new workforce development programme and spend more time working with families to meet their needs sooner. Evaluation Summary

Frontline (£1.8m) to produce a development programme for first-tier line managers in children’s social care (called Firstline) that would then be made available to all local authorities to improve staff training. Evaluation Summary

Gloucestershire (£1.52m) to redesign its adolescent services into multi-disciplinary teams (mental health, youth support and young offending, LAC, CP and CiN) managed at arm’s length from the council. Evaluation Summary

Hampshire County Council and the Isle of Wight (£3.96m) to introduce a suite of changes to structures and practice across the care system in the county and Island to harness community volunteer resource, free up social worker time and build capacity in children’s services  One element of this work is a new multi-agency missing, exploited and trafficked children team (MET) Evaluation Summary

Hertfordshire County Council (£4.8m) to redesign their services to the most at risk families by bringing together children’s social workers with specialists in adult mental health in new multi-disciplinary family safeguarding teams that work closely with schools and better support families. Evaluation Summary

Islington Council (£2.97m) to transform their children’s social care service so that workers spend more time with families and are provided with regular training, supervision and feedback. Evaluators will be embedded into social work teams to ‘measure what matters’ enabling real-time improvement in performance. Evaluation Summary

Leeds City Council (£4.85m) to change their whole social care system to embed restorative practice (work placing the service user and those close to them at the heart of planning and decision making) across children’s services, including introducing an entitlement to family group conferences, and intensive work on domestic violence prevention and pre-birth assessment. Evaluation Summary

Morning Lane Associates (MLA) (£4.4m) to implement the ‘reclaiming social work’ approach effectively in 5 local authorities (Derbyshire, Harrow, Hull, Southwark and Buckinghamshire) – addressing the systemic barriers to embedding this approach as a way of working throughout the organisations. Evaluation Summary

Munro, Turnell and Murphy (£4.6m) for the Signs of Safety initiative, headed by professor Eileen Munro, which involves rethinking processes, reporting structures and systems so that social workers can work more intensively with families. This will involve 10 local authorities: Wakefield; Norfolk; West Sussex; Brent; Suffolk; Tower Hamlets; Leicestershire; Wokingham; Bristol; and Lincolnshire. Evaluation Summary

Newcastle City Council (£2.7m) to redesign their entire approach to social work by developing new specialist social work units that focus on families with similar needs, aiming to support them better. Evaluation Summary

North East Lincolnshire Council (£1.06m) to run a new and extensive workforce development programme ‘Creating Stronger Communities’ across a wide range of services to address weaknesses across the social care system and to create five ‘Family Hubs’ in existing Children’s Centres. Evaluation Summary

Stockport Council (£3m) – to integrate social workers with the wider children’s workforce and locate these teams in the heart of communities, linked closely with schools. This new ‘Stockport Family Model’ will be underpinned by restorative practice, helping families to deal with conflict and challenge and repair relationships. Evaluation Summary

Torbay Council to bring together children and adult’s health and social care functions, delivered by an independent provider and establish a public service trust to allow pooling of budgets and joint commissioning (£1.25m). Evaluation Summary

Triborough (London) (£4m) to help them completely redesign how they deliver children’s social care from top to bottom, so that professionals can spend more time with children and families and so that practice is rooted in greater expertise and evidence. Evaluation Summary


Rethinking support for adolescents – programmes to prevent teenagers coming into care, and to improve fostering services and residential homes.

Achieving for Children (£1.1 m) to develop a new approach to supporting adolescents in, and on the edge of, care across the two boroughs of Richmond and Kingston.  This will draw together specialist fostering placements, a children’s home and a family intervention team using a new, consistent training programme ‘Better by Design’ across all of these elements. Evaluation Summary

Action for Children (up to £3.3m) to work with Barnet, Harrow and Hounslow councils to run a suite of evidence based programmes (functional family therapy, multi-systemic therapy and multi-dimensional treatment foster care) to transform the support available to adolescents in West London. Evaluation Summary

Aycliffe secure children’s home (Durham County Council) (£496k) to open a new unit at Aycliffe, their secure children’s home, to test a new model of support targeting the trauma experienced by young people who have been sexually exploited. They intend to couple this with an extended “step-down” service to support the young people in making the transition from the secure setting into more independent living. Evaluation Summary

Calderdale County Council (£727k) to provide a bespoke package of different housing and placement options for adolescents. This will include boarding school places, a respite children’s home and a form of ‘staying close’ support for young people leaving residential care. Evaluation Summary

Cambridgeshire Council (£589k) to spin out their multi-systemic therapy (MST) service (for adolescents on the edge of care or custody, including those who have been involved in problematic sexual behaviour) into a public service mutual, run by their staff, and offering services to neighbouring local authorities. Evaluation Summary

Ealing Council (£3.5m) to implement a new ‘intensive engagement model’ to transform their social care system for adolescents – with a strong focus on radically expanding and reshaping their fostering service. Evaluation Summary

Enfield Borough Council (£2.06m) – to set up a Family Accommodation and Support Hub (open seven days a week until 10 pm) to work intensively with young people identified as at risk of entering care to avoid escalation. Evaluation Summary

Hackney Council (£1.97m) to set up their ‘family learning intervention programme (FLIP)’ which includes intensive therapeutic interventions with families at risk of breakdown – where young people are vulnerable to gang involvement or sexual exploitation – in a residential setting outside Hackney. Evaluation Summary

North Yorkshire (£2.1m) to implement their ‘no wrong door’ approach This will see specialist foster carers working alongside 2 children’s homes to provide better support – including help with mental health, education and rebuilding links with their families – for up to 700 young people. The model includes testing a ‘staying close’ approach to supporting care leavers up to age 21. Evaluation Summary

Priory Education Services working with Suffolk Council (£1m) to pilot a new type of residential home (an approach that spans three regulatory regimes). It would provide a blueprint for similar homes that would combine mental health treatment with a small home setting (rather than a hospital) and better help adolescents and families through a mental health crisis to avoid family breakdown and the need for long-term care placements. Evaluation Summary

Sefton Council (£1.1m) to create a single, integrated service for adolescents on the edge of care – aged 12-25 – with a particular focus on those young people at significant risk of gang involvement, child sexual exploitation, going missing and youth crime. Evaluation Summary

St Christopher’s Fellowship (£1.19m) to develop a flexible, high-supervision model of accommodation in London for looked-after girls at risk of sexual exploitation, gang membership and substance misuse who might otherwise be placed in secure children’s homes on welfare grounds. Evaluation Summary

Stoke-on-Trent Council (£588k) to develop ‘the house project’, a housing co-operative that is led by young care leavers using homes owned by the council. The project will provide young people with the right skills to manage their own home and live in the co-operative aiming to reduce long term homelessness, youth offending and anti-social behaviour. Care leavers can remain within their homes for as long as they want and they are aiming to reach 10 young people (aged 16+) in the first year. Evaluation Summary

Surrey Council (£729k) to provide a new overnight respite service, extending their day service (HOPE) out of hours. This will better respond to the mental health and emotional needs of adolescents (11-18yrs) during a crisis. Evaluation Summary

The Compass Centre (£1.05m) is a high-quality school for young people with behavioural or emotional difficulties in Norfolk. It provides education and therapeutic support for short periods to help young people back into mainstream education. They want to extend their approach to provide training and support to foster carers and to the families of the children they support. This would create a ‘virtual residential school’ where the approach and the support would be consistent both at school and at home. Evaluation Summary

The Fostering Network (£1.6m) to import and adapt the successful mockingbird family model of fostering from the US to the UK. Mockingbird clusters a group of 10 foster carers around a ‘hub’ home. This hub, led by an experienced foster carer, provides respite support and short breaks to the carers in the cluster. All of the carers receive shared training and the carers and young people within a cluster meet regularly, engage in activities and get to know and support each other. Evaluation Summary

The National Implementation Service (£4.1m) to hot-house, test and build the sustainability of evidence-based interventions in the UK – including multi-systemic therapy, KEEP (a training programme for foster carers) and ResULT (a therapeutic training programme for residential care staff). Evaluation Summary

The North London Children’s Efficiency Programme (£374k) to use a short term (12 week) residential setting to provide intensive therapeutic support to young people coming into care across five London boroughs. This type of regional collaboration/commissioning could lead to a regional placements team and a more sustainable service. Evaluation Summary

Tri-Borough Alternative Provision Trust (£1.3 million) a successful alternative provision school will extend its approach to offer a short-term residence – combining educational support and counselling – in a rural setting to young people from the Triborough area at risk of entering care. Evaluation Summary

West Sussex County Council (350k) to improve and expand their current regional commissioning arrangements to include care placements for looked after children by developing an outcomes based framework for commissioning; collecting more detailed financial information to better understand value for money in placements; and informing the review of the national contracts. Evaluation Summary

Wigan Council and CCG (£920k) to establish a social care and CAMHS service to provide crisis and step-down support for young people in or at risk of entering care with significant mental health problems. Evaluation Summary


Other priorities in children’s social care.

Barnardo’s and the LGA (£2.14m) to establish a female genital mutilation prevention hub that provides practice expertise; direct work with communities; shares emerging practice; and offers consultancy and practice development to professionals to prevent, protect and treat girls and women affected by FGM. Evaluation Summary

Coram (£600k) to deliver data-led and practice-based improvements to local authorities’ adoption services including through the development of a new diagnostic tool for special guardianship orders and creation of a permanence improvement academy. Evaluation Summary

Cornerstone (£520k) to test a wraparound adoption service including community recruitment, pre and post adoption mentoring and therapeutic parenting training in four local authorities (LAs) in the South East. Evaluation Summary

Daybreak (£728k) to test out a mandatory offer of family group conferences to families who are on the brink of court proceedings for child protection – working with Southwark and Wiltshire councils. Evaluation Summary

Match Fostercare (£781k) to take on delegated statutory social work responsibilities for children in foster care from several local authorities. They believe this will reduce duplication and bureaucracy and provide a better service to children. Evaluation Summary

Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime MOPAC (£558k) to identify and protect children from Female Genital Mutilation across 5 London Boroughs. Evaluation Summary

NSPCC (£1m) to introduce the New Orleans intervention model in South London. The model aims to transform delivery and joint commissioning in children’s social work and CAMHS teams in relation to children aged 0 to 5 years who are in foster care due to maltreatment. Evaluation Summary

NSPCC and SCIE  (£1.2m) – to deliver a project to develop and test a set of mechanisms to enable better use of learning from serious case reviews (SCRs), and to improve the quality of SCRs, including through a pilot project involving the central commissioning of SCRs. Evaluation Summary

Pause – (£4.2m) to extend a successful pilot programme from Hackney in 7 local authority areas, which provides therapeutic, behavioural and practical interventions to women who have had multiple children taken into care following repeat pregnancies, helping them to turn their lives around. Evaluation Summary

Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council (£1.09m) to provide better designed, more culturally sensitive and intensive family and social care support to children and families in two distinct communities (Pakistani-Mirpuri and Army Service Families). Evaluation Summary

Safe Families for Children (£2.35m) – to extend an early intervention/edge of care pilot programme from the USA in which volunteers provide respite care for families during times of crisis, as well as mentoring and supporting parents who are in difficulty. Evaluation Summary

Sheffield and South Yorkshire Councils (£1.2m) to develop a sub-regional delivery model for young people experiencing or at risk of child sexual exploitation. This will include recruitment, development and support of specialist foster carers to provide safe placements for young people across South Yorkshire. Local authorities involved are Sheffield, Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster. Other partners are LSCBs in these areas and South Yorkshire police. Evaluation Summary

Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation (£3.28m) to create a national FDAC (family drug and alcohol court) development unit testing out the model in different contexts in 8 new local family justice boards across 11 local authority areas with a view to creating a sustainable long-term funding model for future FDACs across the country and to pilot an extended version of the FDAC model, intervening earlier with pregnant women in London, Kent and Coventry who have previously had one or more children removed. Evaluation Summary

The Council for Disabled Children (£812k) to develop and test new assessment models for disabled children in need of social care services, to improve the experience and outcomes for these young people. Evaluation Summary

University of Kent (£592k) to explore the current and potential role of technology in social work and define how avatar technology could relate to vulnerable children and young people by providing support and reinforcing their engagement with the social care system. Evaluation Summary

Wigan and Rochdale Councils (£956k) to find alternatives to high cost and secure accommodation for victims of, or those at risk of, child sexual exploitation, to improve outcomes for those young people and their families. They plan to develop and deliver a research programme and pilot which involves testing a new hub and spoke social care service model with 30 young people in Wigan and Rochdale, with the intention of scaling this up across Greater Manchester local authorities. Evaluation Summary