Knowledge Makes Change

Knowledge Makes Change is the monthly newsletter from the Children's Partnership.

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Adoption and Children in Care Update

Our quarterly update of news, policy and research related to adoption and children in care.

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Children's Partnership Resources

In this section you will find an archive of the publications, including notes from events, produced by the Children's Partnership.


NEW!

Integrated review at age two and a half: Experiences of practice
National Children’s Bureau for the Children’s Partnership
February 2016

The Experiences of Practice series is designed to help both staff working directly with young children and those managing and designing services, to learn from work being done in Islington and Warwickshire, which were among the first to trial the Integrated Review developmental check introduced in September 2015.

Based on the experiences of service leads, practitioners and parents, each document in the Experiences of Practice series can be used as a standalone guide to one aspect of the Independent Review, or can be read alongside other published material.

 

Experiences of Practice: About the series

Experience of Practice: Working with parents

Experiences of Practice: Involving the child

Experiences of Practice: Professional working relationships

Experiences of Practice: Using the Ages and Stages Questionnaire

Executive Summary: The Integrated Review: Follow-up report on practice in two local authority areas

National Children’s Bureau for the Children’s Partnership
December  2015

The Integrated Review: Follow-up report on practice in two local authority areas
National Children’s Bureau for the Children’s Partnership
October 2015

This is a follow-up study that shows how the Integrated Review has been put into practice within two local authority areas: Islington and Warwickshire. These local authorities have implemented two different models for structuring the review. In Islington, a joint meeting structure is used where early years and health practitioners come together to deliver their own parts of the Integrated Review in one meeting with the parent and child.  In Warwickshire, early years and health practitioners have separate meetings with the parent and child, and share information with each other. 

The report will be of great use to local authorities implementing the Integrated Review and to practitioners themselves.

Summary Briefings

Summary Briefing: Promoting Health and Wellbeing
National Children’s Bureau for the Children’s Partnership
March 2015
This briefing describes the key themes in the statutory guidance, Promoting the health and wellbeing of looked after children, published by the Department for Education and Department of Health in March 2015. It highlights messages and provides additional context in areas that have been identified by stakeholders as challenge areas or of particular interest.

Summary Briefing: Improving Permanence for Looked After Children

National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
October 2014
In autumn 2013 government published the consultation document Looked after children: Improving permanence. The consultation included proposals designed to:

  • Strengthen the team around the looked-after child
  • Secure permanence for looked-after children
  • Improve the status, security, and stability of long term foster-care
  • Strengthen the requirements for returning children home from care

This briefing summarises the government response to the consultation, published on 22 October 2014.

Summary Briefing: Children and Families Act 2014
Barnardo's and National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
April 2014

This briefing sets out the key changes to the law made by the Children and Families Act 2014 in relation to adoption, children in care and care leavers. It covers adoption, staying put, virtual school heads, children’s homes and relevant aspects of reform of the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Summary Briefing: Health services for children in care and care leavers
National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
March 2014
The reforms of the health service which commenced in April 2013 have made significant changes to the structure of the NHS in England as well as placing a range of new duties on commissioners in how they plan and secure provision for all service users. This may have a bearing on how children and young people in care and care leavers access services, how their care is coordinated and how their specific entitlements are delivered. The Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Health (DH) will be working together in 2014 to revise statutory guidance on Promoting the Health and Wellbeing of Looked After Children. This briefing, aimed at those working with children in care and care leavers,  highlights key policy in relation to health services for children in care and care leavers, including developments from the 2013 health service reforms and Care Leavers Strategy.

Summary briefing: Children and Families Bill amendments to children’s homes regulation
National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
April 2014
This Children’s Partnership briefing summarises proposed changes to the regulation of children’s homes, brought into the Children and Families Bill in November 2013, as part of Government’s plans to raise expectations in the quality of care that these settings should provide.

Summary Briefing: Corporate Parenting
National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
June 2013
This briefing summarises the key messages from the recently published second edition of the handbook for councillors  Putting Corporate Parenting into Practice. The handbook sets out the responsibilities of a corporate parent, together with practical exercises and briefings to support effective practice.

Summary Briefing: Proposals to improve safeguarding of children in care
National Children's Bureau for the Children's Partnership
September 2013
This briefing summarises the proposals set out by Government in response to concerns about children and young people going missing from residential care settings and cases of sexual exploitation. To support responses from the voluntary sector, it gives an overview of the three Department for Education consultations on amending care planning regulations, children's homes regulations, and statutory guidance on children who go missing. These consultations closed on 17 September 2013.

Children's Partnership reports and guides

Social value and commissioning toolkit: a guide for charities
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) for the Children’s Partnership

February 2015

This toolkit provides a succinct overview of the current commissioning landscape by highlighting key pieces of Government legislation and important reforms to EU procurement law which come into force later this month. Some of the challenges most commonly encountered by charities when bidding for contracts are also explored along with some practical advice on how to potentially overcome them.

 

 Adoption Case Studies: full report
Barnardos for the Children's Partnership

March 2015

Over the past year, the Children’s Partnership has been gathering case studies from across the sector on adoption matching and support.  This document presents a number of case studies that show the range of support that is helping children and young people find settled adoptive homes.  

Summary of Adoption Case Studies
Barnardo's for the Children's Partnership
March 2015

Can social prescibing work for the children's sector?
Barney Mynott, NAVCA for the Children's Partnership
March 2015
This presentation explains what social prescribing is and how it is relevant to the children and young people's sector. Includes case studies.

VCSE Social Investment Toolkit: A guide for voluntary organisations on social investment
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) for the Children’s Partnership
January 2015
This new guide produced by NCVO for the Children’s Partnership opens the door to social investment for charities and social enterprises, helping them understand how it works in practice and how they can be ready to attract funding. The Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) Social Investment Toolkit introduces the common types of social investment available, from loans and bonds, to crowd-funding and so-called ‘quasi-equity’ investments, providing case studies of how charities, social enterprises and local authorities have all made use of social investment to bring about change. Social investment is repayable finance – not a grant or donation – provided to an organisation by an investor who expects to see both their money paid back and tangible social benefits.

A brighter future for family justice: the young persons’ guide to what’s happened since the Family Justice Review looked into things
Produced by the Children's Partnership working with the former children's rights director, Roger Morgan, and published by the Department for Education and the Ministry of Justice.
2014
The Family Justice Review of 2011 found a system that was failing the vulnerable people it was supposed to be serving, characterised by incoherence, distrust between agencies and a lack of leadership. This was causing huge, unnecessary delays, with the average care case in the county courts taking over 60 weeks.  In its response the government agreed with the vast majority of what the Review had found and, along with the majority of agencies working in the system, accepted that radical action needed to be taken. This guide written for young people sets out the progress made since the Review’s publication.

Staying Put – a good practice guide
Children's Partnership
2014
This guidance shows how those working in foster care and with looked after children can best support new ‘Staying Put’ arrangements allowing children in foster care to remain in their placements until age 21. Many care leavers have a more difficult start to adulthood as a consequence of their past experiences, coupled with the absence of a supportive family base. Staying Put arrangements help to mitigate these factors by allowing them to stay with their foster carers longer, so that when they leave care they are better equipped to do well in life. Under new laws included in the Children and Families Act 2014, local authorities have a duty to support care leavers who wish to continue to live with their foster carers when they reach 18. The Staying Put arrangement continues until the young person reaches age 21, or stops living in the household before then.

Social Value One Year On
NAVCA for the Children's Partnership
April 2014
This briefing reflects on the progress made with implementation of the Social Value Act and the challenges that are still to be addressed. The Social Value Act still has the potential to encourage a sea change in procurement practice: to move away from risk adverse practice that prioritises process over outcomes and does not consider public benefit to local communities. For this to happen, 2014 needs to see learning from the social value innovators continue to spread and to be adopted by other public bodies.

Commissioning for social value
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) for the Children’s Partnership
March 2014
Social value has often been overlooked when commissioning services. The Public Services (Social Values Act) 2012 enables commissioners to consider the additional community benefits that could be achieved when commissioning a public service. This interim report sets out the steps that three councils have taken to develop their social value strategies, and the lessons that they have learned during this process – for central government, local authorities and voluntary organisations.

Perspectives of Voluntary and Community Sector organisations supporting looked after children and care leavers : Findings from an online survey
National Children's Bureau for the Children’s Partnership
December 2013
Last year, NCB, as part of the Children’s Partnership, was commissioned by the Department for Education (DfE) to carry out a brief survey of voluntary and community sector organisations involved in supporting looked after children and care leavers. The main aim of the survey was to explore the challenges facing voluntary sector organisations, their perceptions about the state of support for looked after children and care leavers locally, their views on the government’s reform programme, and their priorities for improvement. 69 people responded raising a number of issues, although there more was notable interest in three particular priority areas:

  • ensuring children’s views are taken into account
  • improving placement stability
  • provision for care leavers

Notes from Children's Partnership events


The health needs of looked after and permanently placed children – the challenges and opportunities present in the new health system: Notes from the Roundtable with NHS England 3 December 2013
This meeting was arranged by NCB as part of the Children’s Partnership and as part of NCB’s role as a voluntary sector strategic partner to the Department of Health and its system partners. The note lists the key points of discussion.

Addressing health inequalities for care leavers: Seminar 4 March 2014 organised as part of the Children’s Partnership and NCB’s role as a strategic partner to the Department of Health
Young people leaving care continue to face a wide range of inequalities, including poor health outcomes. Following recent reforms to the health system and publication of the cross-government Care Leavers Strategy, this free event for colleagues across the voluntary, health, and local government sectors explored how key national initiatives are being delivered in practice to benefit young people leaving care. A summary of the event that summarises the key themes and discussion points, and the presentations can be downloaded from NCB’s website