EM Region February 2016 Update

Update for the February meeting of the ADCS Council of Reference

Peer challenge

DCS-led peer challenge team reviews and shorter specialist Safeguarding Assurance Visits continue to provide the backbone of our regional programme. Reviewers are drawn from a regional pool of over 80 reviewers with 20 more colleagues being added to the pool through recent training sessions.

Managing the demand for and supply of social workers

This protocol to establish agreements between LAs that start to address the impact of social care agency work on price, quality and service culture has now been finalised and is being signed-off. Project work over the coming year will implement two phases of actions to start to tackle short and medium term priorities.

Regional priorities

Work has continued to further define and progress the objectives within the regional plan. In particular, the region has been linking lead members with particular aspects of the plan in order to underscore the political dimensions of several workstreams.

Evaluation of effective early help services

The regional group of Improvement and Data Leads has recently presented to DCSs an interesting regional chronology and analysis of effective early help. This is leading to more work in the coming months to undertake further analysis of the interventions that are found to make greatest impact at three priority stages:

  • School readiness in the early years
  • At the cusp of the CIN interface that help to avoid social care service involvement at all
  • At the edge of care to help children live safely with their families and avoid the need for children to be taken into care.

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Regional adoption agency

The work to develop a regional adoption agency is continuing according to plan, with strong governance and project leadership now establishing purposeful activity that capitalises upon the wealth of good adoption practice within the region.

Regional framework

The region’s new 2016-2020 framework for the purchase of placements with independent fostering agencies and residential providers is currently being launched. The framework reduces or holds prices very close to 0% for another four years, meaning that participating LAs will now see almost no price change for eight years.

SEND sufficiency

The region has been successful in securing modest project funding from NHS England to stimulate regional work that increases the capacity for local SEND placements and reduces the need to place so many young people far from home.

Regional seminars

  • Case file auditing – Almost 60 social work colleagues attended seminars that introduced a social work case file audit tool that is closely based upon the latest inspection methodologies that have recently been developed as part of Ofsted’s improvement activities in the region
  • Using research to rethink radically the provision of services in light of budgetary pressures. This seminar was hosted by Derbyshire for localand regional colleagues and included stimulating presentations by Impower and the Dartington Social Research Unit
  • Supporting the implementation of SEND reforms – A regional seminar to share practice is being held in March 2016.

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