Re-design of services for children, young people and families - Swindon

Themes this local practice example relates to:

  • General resources
  • Local area early intervention strategies
  • Early Help

Basic details

Organisation submitting example

Swindon Borough Council

Local authority/local area:

Swindon Borough Council


The context and rationale

Children’s Services face significant challenges to future service provision because of increasing demand and cuts in government spending. In response to those challenges, we must radically re-design the services that we provide to protect our ability to deliver front line services and achieve more for less. It is acknowledged that safeguarding should remain at the centre of all our work. 

The programme of re-design of services for children and families defines our core business and addresses changes in developing government and local policy. It sets the agenda for us to collectively drive down demand whilst delivering better outcomes and relationships for children, young people and families in Swindon. It establishes a common set of skills and competencies amongst the children’s workforce to ensure that all staff are able to build strength and resilience when working with children and families. Our partners, including the voluntary sector, are involved at all stages of the programme.

The re-design programme for services for children, young people and families in Swindon was set up to reshape:

• the way in which services are delivered
• where they are delivered
• how they are delivered
• who they are delivered for and who they are delivered by
and to:
• reaffirm the service’s core business
• address cross service areas of work
• reshape the workforce
• reaffirm the competences and skills needed to deliver the business well.

This work is critical to informing how demand on services can be managed down and how early help can make a significant difference. The programme also focuses on future involvement of the community. 

The work is being led by the Strategic Commissioning Manager in Children’s Services (alongside business as usual) with additional programme support from the Swindon Borough Council Programme Management Office. There is no re-design ‘team’ as such.

The Approach – a conversation

Our starting point was our service users, not our staff. Our first piece of work in March 2011 was to talk to some of our service users – children, young people, parents and carers, and to our partners. We ran 40 workshops over five weeks with approximately 300 children, young people and families.

We knew the data, but these conversations gave us more of the real stories about their experience of working with services provided by the council and its partners. This piece of work is critical to informing how demand on services can be managed down and how early help can make a significant difference.

Service users must play an important part in any change that we make, and are helping us to create and develop a new model of working and a new culture. Parents, carers, young people and our partners have been pivotal to the re-design programme at every stage, and have helped us to develop the new ‘behaviours’ which are the basis on which the new whole council structure is being built. It’s not just about structure. It’s about ways of working, attitude, skill sets and delivery. 

Children’s Services undertook a series of conversations through focus groups with 100 young people, parents and carers during September 2011. These followed on from our conversations with them in March, at which we asked them to tell us what they most valued about the people who worked with them.

We wanted to get underneath what it is that makes the difference for families, whether it’s working more alongside them in their local area, providing consistent and clearly communicated advice, being positive and providing strategies to help, enabling them to do more for themselves. We needed to listen to them to understand what it is about the ‘behaviours’ of our workers that makes things work well for them, or frustrates them and sometimes even makes things worse for them and their family. 

We know that we need to make sure that everyone who works with children, young people and families in Swindon hears what families are telling us about the impact that the behaviours can have on them, so that we can begin to work differently. People may be cynical about the impact of ‘behaviours’, but this may change when they hear the examples of when someone’s behaviour had been ‘devastating’ or ‘massively reassuring’.

Our staff tell us that using the behaviours in their work with their colleagues will improve their practice, so this work is also designed to create a new working environment where they can have honest and creative conversations across all levels of the organisation. The first hand ‘stories’ will inform the future learning and development for everyone working with children and families, and we’ll continue the conversation with our service users and staff to make sure that we are getting it right, that our services are of good quality for everyone, and that we are learning all the time. 

The idea for this work and the methods that we used were our own. We did not draw on any guidance or practice. But we were clear that we didn’t want it to be ‘consultation’, and once we had decided to have a ‘conversation’, the feel of the work and the way we talked and listened to our service users and staff became very different.

The practice

The start of the Conversation with children, young people and families…
Our first piece of work for the programme was to talk to some of our service users – children, young people, parents and carers, and to our partners. We ran 40 workshops over five weeks with approximately 300 children, young people and families – and they want more. Some workshops had 30 attendees, some were one to one conversations. 

We went to where our service users were – to their homes, coffee mornings, youth club meetings, so that they felt comfortable to talk. We met, amongst others:

• Young carers
• Young offenders
• Parents of children in care
• Foster carers
• Parents of young carers
• Parents of children who have had a CAF and TAC
• Parents of children receiving services from Targeted Mental Health 
• School and college students, staff and governors
• Police
• Young mums
• Adoptive parents
• Parents of children receiving education other than at school
and more, and we were not afraid to ask the service users who are traditionally more difficult to engage.

The workshops were led by facilitators from right across Children’s Services, from the Group Director to PAs. This got people out of their teams and into the wider service, and was a chance for Children’s Services staff to experience other parts of their own business, working alongside people with whom they had never worked before. 

The Workshop Script for children, young people and families
The workshops were based around the 3P principles of people, process and place. This created the environment for open discussion, and made it simple and informal, and went into action very quickly.

It was a tight script – designed around listening not telling, and all about what’s important for the service user, as well as what isn’t. We were up-front and honest from the start, being clear that we were not there to promise the earth, and need to save serious money.

• Government spending cuts mean that we can’t continue to deliver services to children, young people and families in Swindon in the way that we have done in the past
• It may not feel comfortable, but we can’t afford to do the same things in the same way any more
• We want to take a good, careful, look at all the services that we provide for children and young people and their families
• We want to know what you think of our services now, and where we might improve
• ‘Services’ include everything that the council does, and our partners including Health, the Police, and everyone who works with children, young people and their families
• Based on these conversations, we are going to re-design services so that what we provide are those services that we know make the real difference to children and families.

In this workshop, we asked service users:
• To describe their experience of services for children and young people now – where things have worked well, and where they have found things more difficult 
• To talk to us about what they think it is that makes the biggest difference to them and their family (or the families that they work with)
• To tell us what they think that we could do differently to improve services
• To let us know what we might stop doing. 

Our Conversation with our staff
15 workshops, 200 members of staff, 7 days, based again around the 3P principles.

We played back our conversations with children, young people and families to over 200 of our staff and asked them similar questions. The sessions were very interactive, very positive and created real energy – the pace of engagement has created a level of expectancy across the service. We challenged our staff to be honest and to think right outside the box. 

Using what we had learned
We consolidated all the information into a report which contributed directly to the overall re-design and re-structure of the Council, ‘Stronger Together’. 

We were able to draw up a set of ‘design principles’, based on what we had learned in the conversations, which are informing the re-design of services for children, young people and families. The design principles are now the basis for the new models of delivery that are being developed to support children and families.

We were able to create a range of ‘behaviours’, based on everything that they had said, that are most important to them:

• a good listener who doesn’t judge
• understanding that it takes time to understand and build a relationship
• be approachable and friendly
• be constructive and positive
• be knowledgeable and able to offer guidance, strategies to help and support to encourage families to help themselves 
• be consistent and creative in approach
• be honest and confident – be able to have difficult conversations.

These behaviours were used as the basis for the recruitment for all new posts for re-organisation of the whole council, ‘Stronger Together’.

From this evidence, we have drawn up new, generic Job Descriptions that can be used for all staff working with children, young people and families in Swindon. These will be developed further as we collect more evidence. 

In addition, we are contributing to the further development of the corporate appraisal and review for staff, because staff and service users from Children’s Services felt that it was very important to have 360o conversations and feedback from service users to contribute to staff appraisal – this doesn’t currently happen. It is vital that this is written in plain English, and tested out before it is formally adopted, so that all our service users can contribute. 

The behaviours and the key themes (set out later in this report) are being used as the basis for the new council coaching and mentoring model, and will be used across the council to structure the new learning and development offer. 

The September Conversations 
Our second set of conversations with children, young people and families, and our staff and public sector partners, were even more informal. We asked them to give us examples of what these behaviours really mean for them, in their own words, so that we know when we are really ‘doing’ the behaviours, and not just talking about them. 

We wanted these conversations to inform the re-design programme for services for children, young people and families, the Community Budgets Programme, and also the Stronger Together Programme (whole council re-design and re-structure). It will do this through providing tangible and real examples of why it’s important that our people behave in this way, demonstrating what difference it makes to them when we do, and when we don’t. 

We held 30 focus groups during September, with the following service users:

• Foster carers
• Young mums
• LIFE staff (LIFE stands for ‘building new Lives for Individuals and Families to Enjoy’)
• LIFE parents
• Parents who had a Team Around the Child (TAC)
• Parents at North Swindon Family Centre
• Advanced foster carers
• Adoptive parents
• Academy parents
• Children in care
• Parents at Uplands School
• Youth Forum
• 8 Children’s Services staff groups
• Voluntary sector partners
• Focus groups with staff from Anti Social Behaviour, Housing, Noise and Pests
• Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). 

These conversations were with groups of up to 8 people, and some were one to one conversations. We kept it very informal, and let our service users lead the conversation. We asked for their honest thoughts and committed to keeping their contributions anonymous, and made it safe for them to talk. 

As facilitators, we tried to use the behaviours ourselves through the workshops. 

People were keen and happy to talk to us, many of them for the second time, and they made time to come to the focus groups. They were pleased, and surprised, that what they had told us in the workshops in March had had an impact. Everyone who attended was able to make a contribution and they were enthusiastic about being involved in what they saw as positive change.

Areas that they covered in their conversations with us included a broad range of services and issues, and they talked about people in general terms, and specific service areas across a range of public sector services, including Children’s Services, Housing, the One Stop Shop, Schools, the Police, GPs, Health Visitors, Hospitals, Libraries, Transport and others.

We asked parents, carers and young people to think about each of the behaviours and to:

• Give an example of when someone working with you has ‘listened to you without judging’ for instance
• Did it work for you?
• How did you know that they were really listening to you?
• How did it make you feel? 

We focused on what had happened to them, what it felt like for them, and what the outcome had been. For each of the behaviours, they were able to give both positive and negative examples, and to tell us what effect that had had on themselves and on their families. They also talked to us about what we could have done differently to make their experience better. 

We held a further six focus groups with our staff. We shared some firsthand examples of what each of the behaviours really mean for our service users, in their own words, and asked staff to tell us what they thought those behaviours look like ‘in action’, and how we can know that we are doing well. We asked staff to be very honest. This work will help us to understand the impact (both positive and negative) that our behaviour has both on families that we work with and on our colleagues in the workplace. Staff talked about the impact of the behaviours both in their work with families, and also in their work with their colleagues. These conversations demonstrated very clearly that the behaviours are just as important and relevant in our work with our colleagues, as in our work with families. 

This work will have a direct impact on the way in which services are commissioned and delivered in order to achieve the best outcomes. 

Our next steps are to train the workforce to be the workforce that our service users need them to be. 

The family is at the centre of our work. The ‘worker’ uses their skills alongside the identified behaviours. This forms a part of their learning and development through which they can create evidence of delivery of outcomes for the family through the work that they do and the way that they do it. 

We know that our people will not simply change because we believe it to be for the best. They will change for a variety of reasons; because it’s the right thing to do, because it will make their professional lives better, because it makes sense and because the service user will benefit. Change will take place over time, and to help this embed we will need evidence of how behaviours change outcomes and we will then be able to develop the stories needed to take everyone along. 

The Behaviours Pilot
Our next stage is to build the story for staff and service users and to test out the behaviours in a pilot with nominated and chosen staff from across the service area at a variety of levels. We will develop a plan with a clear structure for the pilot. They will be briefed about the behaviours and will then be asked to collect evidence. Where they are front line staff, we will also be asking service users to record whether they see, feel or can tell if there has been a difference, and what that is like from their perspective.

It is accepted that this may be a somewhat subjective exercise, but given that the behaviours need to be completely embedded in the way we work, it is a risk worth taking. This approach also offers the volunteers an opportunity to offer honest, safe feedback about how they have applied the behaviours, how natural they feel, what have they learnt, how it has changed the way that they work, or not, and how outcomes for families might have improved, or otherwise.

People from within the re-design programme will act as mentors to those involved in the pilot to ensure consistency and to help to capture all of the possible learning. Once the pilot has been completed, during December 2011, the information will be evaluated so that it can influence Stronger Together, and inform our re-design work of services for children, young people and families. This work will enable us to consider how the behaviours might be taken into account through commissioning, through service delivery and in encouraging the local community to become involved. 

This pilot will run parallel to the scaling up of the LIFE programme, and will directly contribute to that work. The pilot will consist of volunteers and nominated individuals who:

• Live the behaviours through their actions.
• Record their actions and outcomes through keeping a diary of their daily working lives, what they feel is happening, what they know has changed and what they have done differently.
• Have a conversation with the re-design team so that their tacit knowledge can be captured to help move the organisation forward and enable better service delivery for users.
• Think about the money - have they managed to save any money, or potentially saved any money through working differently?
• Know what their service users or customers think through a continued conversation.

Workers will ultimately be supported by and be supporting each other through the creation of communities of practice, mentoring, coaching, better use of technology and information sharing. Ultimately this will improve performance and confidence, and will save money. We are now building this work into a wider programme of change concerning technology, professional development, processes and commissioning, with our service users at the heart of everything we do.

Achievements so far

Measurement
Young people and families have told us that early, holistic help, where workers stick by them and give them strategies to help, works. National research and evidence demonstrates that effective early help drives down costs and reduces demand. 

However, analysing the cost savings that are generated from this way of working is complex and is not an exact science. It is of course difficult to prove that because of the work that you have done with a family, a young girl ‘didn’t get pregnant’ or ‘didn’t offend’, and from that to analyse what the service might therefore have saved. It will also take some time to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of the early help. It will be challenging to identify firm financial bottom line cashable savings. 

One of the priorities of the next stage of the Programme will be the development of a robust cost savings evaluation tool that can be tested and re-tested to establish how it can best demonstrate the savings generated by the new way of working and the new behaviours. This will provide us with a greater understanding of how we measure the impact of our spending. 

We will also work further on the development of local, targeted performance measures to measure how we are doing on the behaviours, so that we can accurately determine, report on and share the success of our practice. Part of the performance review will of course be continuing the conversation with parents, carers and young people, and this will shape future service delivery and commissioning. It will become the norm for all staff to have 360 degree feedback from their customers. 

Evidence collected so far
We now have a very broad and comprehensive range of examples that children, young people, parents, carers and our staff have given us of how it feels for them when people use the behaviours, or not. This has given us a credible basis on which to build a learning and development programme for staff, and on which to go forward with our re-design programme. 

Key Themes – our interpretation of what people have told us
From each and every conversation, there were consistent themes that arose again and again, and we will keep checking in on these as we go forward with the re-design. It confirms that our re-design principles drawn up after our first conversations were correct, and we can go forward to the next stage of re-design with some confidence, and make informed decisions. Key themes include:

• First impressions matter
• Making proper time and space to listen is very important 
• It’s not easy for people to ask for help – don’t make people feel small
• Saying stuff in the right way, and following things through
• Being there for people when they most need you – knowing when to step in and when to stand back
• Parents, carers and young people want the same person to help them not just with one issue, but where they can, with the many issues that are worrying them
• Power – use our authority carefully, appropriately and sensitively
• Don’t make assumptions
• Trust
• Confidence and competence are important
See them in full here.

A flavour of what parents, carers and young people told us can be viewed here

Evidence that we are moving in the right direction
The ‘behaviours’ that were identified through the first set of workshops with children, young people, parents, carers and staff have formed the basis for the whole council re-structure process. All senior management appointments have been made using behavioural assessments and interviews based in part on the behaviours identified by this re-design work. Subsequently, the findings of the second piece of work will be informing the ongoing re-organisation. 

The learning and development work to support the new way of working, including development of coaching and mentoring across the organisation, is using the examples given by our service users to reinforce the difference that the behaviours make. We are planning to film a number of staff and service users talking about their experiences, and this will add to the L&D resource. 

There is commitment throughout the organisation to grow and develop the behaviours of all our staff, and recognition that this approach will save money, drive down demand and provide a better service to residents. People were keen and happy to talk to us and they made time to come to the focus groups. When we went back to our service users to have a second conversation, we were able to demonstrate to them that what they had told us in our first conversations with them had had a real, demonstrable impact, and had not been lip service. They were pleased, and surprised, and they want to continue to be involved as we move forward with the re-design. A couple of our service users took the time to read the final report, to make sure that it made good sense. 

Design Principles

Based on the feedback from the workshops, we have drawn up core principles of re-design. Our planning is now based on those principles, with safeguarding absolutely at the heart of the work of the programme. We now know, from our workshops and from our Swindon LIFE programme work, that we want everyone working with children, young people and families in Swindon to have the same sort of approach: 

We want you to be ambitious for every child and young person, to encourage them to have high aspirations, and to enable them to be ‘the best they can be.’
• You will be Lead Professional for children and young people and/or as part of a Team Around the Child and Family.
• You will work with partners and colleagues in a collaborative and honest way, to build a clear understanding of the current reality of families.
• You will work as part of a team to build new relationships with families that inspire and enable change. Focusing on unlocking the capabilities required for them to build and sustain the lives they want to lead; families will be encouraged to see themselves as the solution and you will be led by them to support their desire for change.
• You must ensure that the safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and vulnerable adults at all times is at the heart of our work with families.

Organisational and/or cultural shift
In essence, our re-design will mean that when we work with children and young people in Swindon, it will be a very different approach and it will feel very different both for our workforce, and for children, young people and families. Through our re-design work, we have the evidence to support that. In Swindon, when we work with children and families, our approach is to build quality relationships so that we get to the heart of the issues that trouble people. Only then are we able to develop a plan, together with the child and their family, and help to make a real and lasting difference to their lives and ultimately the community within which they live. 

There is absolute recognition now through the whole organisation that the important thing is not to see the behaviours as simply the answer to everything. Taken on their own, the behaviours will not achieve the change that we need to make. There is a clear need for the behaviours to be seen as a part of the overall re-design programme. 

The behaviours run through everything that we do, and are woven through the fabric of the way in which the services are delivered. They are not designed to be simply reviewed on an annual basis. In order to achieve the change needed going forward in the services that we offer and to move to further involvement of service users in taking on more responsibility, it is important that the behaviours be:
• weighted in order of priority to match different areas of work
• be considered as a part of everyone’s development and be a key element of career progression
• be a key part of coaching and mentoring
• be a core element of job descriptions and job interviews
• be subject to service user assessment and feedback
• be fundamental to the way in which changes happen in the organisation.

A clear cultural and organisational shift can be demonstrated through the work that is starting now to develop and consult on a generic job description for everyone working with children, young people and families in Swindon. This will incorporate what we have learned from our services users and staff from our conversations about what they think is most important, as well as learning from the LIFE programme. This programme has tested out a new way of working with families in chronic crisis, based on a new relationship that is consistent with being family led and enabling of families to make changes in their lives. The work that the LIFE programme (through the Community Budgets Programme work) and the re-design programme have undertaken jointly has brought new and powerful evidence to support the development and introduction of new job descriptions. 

Our approach will always be to ensure that the service user has every opportunity to engage and play a fully active role in shaping and delivering services which ultimately seek to improve the lives of their families and children.

Benefits

• The approach is new and dynamic and is being copied by other parts of the council and our partners.
• Because of the inclusive nature of the work, it has enabled staff from across the Council to become closely involved, and led to a greater understanding of the programme, and the behaviours.
• Other councils have visited and discussed the programme.
• Our service users have said that this is not like ‘normal consultation’, and are genuinely pleased that what they have told us has had an impact. They are keen to stay involved, and to help us to let us know how we are doing. 
• What our service users tell us about behaviours mirrors what staff tell us. The behaviours that we need to have when we work with our service users are exactly those that we need to have when we work with each other in the workplace. It means that the work that we have done is adaptable and flexible, and can be used right across the organisation, and with all our service users, not just children and families.

Replication

What has worked well – how we overcame barriers and challenges

• We were able to demonstrate to our service users and our staff that what they told us in the workshops in March has made a real difference – it was not just lip service. 
• Getting out and giving space for our service users to talk, and giving our time to listen, has helped us understand what we need to change, and has given us confidence that we are making informed decisions.
• Careful preparation and a tight script got the conversations going, but it was good to let the conversations develop without necessarily keeping completely to the script. 
• The good and bad examples of behaviours that they gave us enabled us to get a very clear picture of what worked for them, and where their frustrations lay
• Sometimes it got pretty emotional when they told us what had happened to them, and on a couple of occasions, we were the ones needing their support, but that was OK. 
• There were times when we felt that we had to say sorry for what had happened to them, because the organisation had made things so difficult and frustrating for them. 

Cost of this part of the programme
This part of the programme has been met entirely from existing resources, and no additional funding has been committed to this programme. The Strategic Commissioning Manager and the LIFE Programme Leader have undertaken all the work, supported by the Programme Management Office. No costs were incurred for the conversations, as they all took place where and when parents, carers and young people already met, at youth clubs, children’s centres, Saltway, Lyndhurst, the homes of service users, and other venues in the Borough.

How this will save money 

Our focus is on ‘doing with’, and on ‘caring’, understanding that the service user really matters. 
This approach will ultimately save the service area money and improve the quality of outcomes for the service users.
• We will see service delivery as a joint opportunity – the community being able to take on more for themselves as the conversation continues.
• Along with the new model of working, this approach will enable a more rounded process of delivery – a mixed approach to ways of working, technology and skill development which will free up our staff to provide early help.
• We will reduce the number of people working in each Team Around the Child and Family so releasing capacity across the workforce. 
• Our staff will be asked to deliver their service offering using the behaviours, along with their professional competence in everything they do. Our service users will agree or disagree that this is the case through regular contact and conversation.
• The role of the service user, through their feedback, will help us to shape and commission new services, whether it be through direct provision or through the community.
• Through our direct work with service users, we will be able to grow and shape the market more effectively, seeing gaps and opportunities earlier than at present, for instance through encouraging social enterprise.

Young people and families have told us that early, holistic help, where workers stick by them and give them strategies to help, works. National research and evidence demonstrates that effective early help drives down costs and reduces demand. However, analysing the cost savings that are generated from this way of working is complex and is not an exact science. It is of course difficult to prove that because of the work that you have done with a family, a young girl ‘didn’t get pregnant’ or ‘didn’t offend’, and from that to analyse what the service might therefore have saved. It will also take some time to accurately evaluate the effectiveness of the early help. It will be challenging to identify firm financial bottom line cashable savings. 

One of the priorities of the next stage of the programme will be the development of a robust cost savings evaluation tool that can be tested and re-tested to establish how it can best demonstrate the savings generated by the new way of working and the new behaviours. We will use the LIFE cost framework as a basis of our work together with the external Social Return on Investment evaluation. This will provide us with a greater understanding of how we measure the impact of our spending. 

We will also work further on the development of local, targeted performance measures to measure how we are doing on the behaviours, so that we can accurately determine, report on and share the success of our practice. Part of the performance review will of course be continuing the conversation with parents, carers and young people, and this will shape future service delivery and commissioning. It will become the norm for all staff to have 360 degree feedback from their customers. 

What have we learned?

• People will only be confident to change when the people above them, or managing them, change too, and create the right working environment for them to have honest and creative conversations.
• Maintaining the conversation is essential, with our staff and with our service users. Understanding the benefits of working in this way is the key to change.
o We need to have conversations all the time about how the behaviours are working for all of us. It becomes an everyday part of how we all work. 
o 360 degree feedback with our service users becomes the norm.
o We should all be routinely participating in reflective practice .
o There should be an annual snapshot at strategic level, through appraisal, to see how the whole organisation is working with and growing the behaviours.
• The way that we behave does make a massive difference. People might be cynical about the impact of ‘behaviours’, but everyone that we spoke to gave us examples of when someone’s behaviour had been ‘devastating’ or ‘massively reassuring’. It does make a difference.
• Service users quite often have the answers themselves. ‘What you need to do is think about what works for us, not just about what works for the council – that way it’s so much better for us, and probably cheaper for you too.’
• We must listen, but if we then don’t do anything, it’s pointless. 
• The support that parents, carers and young people can give to each other is invaluable. The support that staff and teams give to each other gives them the resilience that they need to do the very challenging work that they do. 
• We’re not going to get it right the first time, but if we keep talking, and create an environment where we keep asking for and giving honest feedback, we’ll be able to make positive change. 

Overwhelmingly, what we have learned is that it is the people who matter most, and the relationships that are built up between service users and the people who work with them that make the difference. 

Key leadership behaviour characteristics

The following core behaviours have been identified as part of successful elements of leadership (see National College for Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services/C4EO (2011). Resourceful leadership: how directors of children’s services improve outcomes for children. Full report. Nottingham: NCSL. http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/docinfo?id=144732&filename=resourceful-leadership-dcs.pdf

Swindon identified the following behaviours as key to the transformation of their service.

openness to possibilities – it was essential for us to listen to what our services users told us about what was most important to them, and for us to design and adapt services with them. 

the ability to collaborate – we clearly understand that it is only by working in partnership that we can improve outcomes

focusing on results – or outcomes, is critical. It’s important never to lose sight of how our services make a difference, and we understood that better through our conversations with children, young people and families

the ability to simplify – our workshops or ‘conversations’ with children, young people and families emphasised the need for us to make sure that when we communicate with families, we should do so in a way that makes it easy for them to understand and access our services – some of our forms and letters are ‘impenetrable’.

the ability to learn continuously – and be brave enough to act on what we have learned.

The golden threads relevant to this example are:
• From good to great
• Know your communities
• Culture not structure
• Unite to succeed.

Contact Us

t. 020 7833 6825
e. contactus@C4EO.org.uk

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    Themes this local practice example relates to: Vulnerable (Looked After) Children Safeguarding Families, Parents and Carers General resources Early Help Priorities this local practice example relates to: Protecting children living in families where they are at high risk of abuse, harm or neglect Basic details Organisation submitting example

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  • Parent Champions

    Parent Champions originated as a small-scale pilot scheme following research conducted by Daycare Trust between 2004 and 2007, which found that despite advances in childcare provision in the UK in that period, disadvantaged groups still remained less likely to take up childcare. 

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