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Valuing Care: Focusing on needs, strengths and aspirations

This report, in partnership with Norfolk County Council, demonstrates how our Valuing Care approach can unlock potential for children and young people, improve outcomes and reduce costs.

"We use Valuing Care to engage care providers to ensure that our approach to finding homes for children is driven by their needs and strengths, rather than their risks and deficits, which is demonstrably improving our sufficiency challenges and reducing some of the costs of care."


Introduction: raising our ambition for children and young people


In February 2023 the government set out its Children’s Social Care Strategy.

As the sector responds, Norfolk County Council, IMPOWER and a partnership of local areas have gathered insight, learning and impact from the delivery of an approach which we believe could help more local areas to:

  • Improve life chances and longer-term outcomes for children and young people
  • Respond to sufficiency challenges
  • Improve understanding of the impact of care and support
  • Reduce the cost of care and deliver significant financial savings

Seven years ago, IMPOWER supported a partnership of local areas to develop ‘Valuing Care’.

This is an approach to practice and commissioning which gives focus to children’s needs, strengths, aspirations and outcomes. This allows better conversations around how care can meet needs and a stronger connection between needs and costs.

This approach has delivered demonstrable impact on children’s lives – from improving how commissioners find the right care and support for children, to helping find family homes for more children that need them.

The Valuing Care Programme brings together the local areas who have delivered this approach to share learning and to collaborate around shared opportunities and challenges. As chair of the Valuing Care Programme Board Norfolk County Council has collaborated with IMPOWER to produce this report, which sets out key insights and impact from the use and application of Valuing Care in Norfolk and in other areas. This document provides:

  • Key insights and findings from the use and application of the Valuing Care approach in Norfolk
  • The wider story and impact of the Valuing Care Programme and approach
  • Proposed next steps for how interested local areas could get involved and collaborate

Alongside sharing these insights and learning, Norfolk County Council would like to invite other leaders and practitioners working with children and families to:

  • Get in touch to express an interest in joining the Valuing Care Programme or one of our shared learning events
  • Share learning from other areas around approaches focused on better understanding and supporting the needs, strengths and outcomes of children and young people

Published: March 29, 2023

Authors: IMPOWER & Norfolk County Council

NEW Valuing Care Report, co-produced with Norfolk County Council