Transforming Culture and Practice in Social Care

This project was funded by the Social Care Innovation Fund to look at the development, testing and sharing of more effective ways of supporting children and families who need help from children’s social care services.

Funded by the Department for Eductation this two year programme involved working in partnership with five local authorities to co-produce new approaches to assessment in children’s social care. At the end of the project each model was evaluated against previous local practice, focusing on quality, efficiency and value for money with the aim of identifying approaches that have potential for wider application nationally.

The need for innovation

Evidence shows that we over assess disabled children, using expensive social work resources, because of a need to gate-keep access to practical family support resources, such as short breaks (New Learning from Serious Case Reviews, Brandon et al 2012).

Many families are subject to an over intrusive, resource intensive approach to access basic requirements. Conversely, research identifies a tendency to under assess disabled children who need safeguarding support. Disabled children are at greater risk of significant harm but are underrepresented in child protection work. More focus is needed on safeguarding, identification and assessment of risk of significant harm.