The council’s Deputy Chief Executive reflects on working with IMPOWER.
Since February 2018, five councils have used our Valuing Care programme to achieve better outcomes for children in their care, while reducing costs overall. Today we are delighted to launch a short report (and accompanying video) which highlights the impacts of the programme so far. A quick taster:
- Across the 5 councils involved, 3,400 children in care now have clearer alignment between their needs, care plans and outcomes
- £2.8m estimated savings over 2019/20, by just two of the councils involved so far
Over the past 20 years, IMPOWER has been involved in dozens of successful children’s services projects that have delivered sustainable change for foster carers, looked after children, children with special educational needs and disabilities, and more. Of them all, I genuinely believe that Valuing Care is the best programme that we have ever developed. It is truly ground-breaking, and as our report demonstrates, it has quickly delivered significant benefits for councils and the children in their care.
Last week, the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee became the latest body to say that not only that current levels of funding are unsustainable, but that local authorities must do more to understand demand.
Whilst more resources are being directed towards children and young people in care, so far this has neither solved the challenges faced by the system nor addressed the pressures of rising demand. As our report makes clear, Valuing Care is transformational because – for the first time – it enables councils to correlate the needs of the children and young people with desired outcomes and the investments made.
I want to offer my sincere thanks to the leaders and staff within the five councils who have participated so far; Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Central Bedfordshire and North East Lincolnshire. They had the courage to back a concept at a time of scarce resources, and are now being rewarded for that. Given the feedback from children in care, council staff, and providers, I am genuinely excited about what the future holds for this pioneering approach.
Please do take the time to read the report and share it with colleagues – and do let us know your own thoughts and experiences. If you are interested in being part of the next wave of councils to join the programme, please get in touch.