Lancashire County Council

The results

Meeting all pre-agreed key performance indicators, the project was delivered on time and to budget, whilst going beyond solving purely short-term issues. We provided reliable strategic advice and support and drove best practice to help Lancashire embed improved processes and find innovative ways of working. This also involved the implementation of a strategy to strengthen multi-agency partners working in compliance with Working Together to Safeguard Children 2015.

With the aim of embedding the Skylakes model, a clear exit strategy was carefully planned and actioned to leave a legacy of timely child focused outcomes underpinned by high quality practice.

Our bespoke approach in Lancashire has received praise from Eleanor Schooling, Ofsted’s National Director of Social Care.

Project Highlights

  • Lancashire County Council
  • Ongoing since June 2016 to February 2017
  • Skylakes has completed 4920 assessments to date
  • 98% of assessments completed to agreed timescales
  • Over 32 rounds of duty cycles; 4920 cases have been managed in 9 months

The challenge

Lancashire County Council required a long-term social work partner to deliver their Referral and Assessment Service (RAS), champion change and best practice and to deliver high quality frontline social work as part of their improvement programme.

Being adept at delivering large scale social-work led transformation programmes across the UK, Skylakes was well-placed to work in partnership with the Council to achieve the changes needed.

Our approach

Firstly, Skylakes needed to understand the exact challenges faced by Lancashire’s RAS. We led several meetings with the Council where we carried out a thorough analysis of the current business process.

After putting forward a bespoke new model, the Council agreed for us to initiate our transformation delivery programme. We promptly mobilised 5 managers and 45 peripatetic consultant practitioners inside of just four weeks; five teams of nine social workers, a manager and assistant manager. All practitioners had over 4 years experience, with the vast majority being ABE and court room trained.

The mobilisation and compliance process was rigorous, with crucial aspects delivered on-site in Lancashire. Logistically, this involved face-to-face interviews with senior managers, the creation of a tailored resource pack, detailed process mapping, and a project briefing day involving all appointed practitioners, managers and project support business administrators, led by Skylakes’ senior management team, followed by ICT inductions and full E-learning.

Working on a five-week duty team cycle, our teams provided a comprehensive service focused on high quality assessments and thorough case management to specific points of transfer back to Lancashire. During 32 duty cycles, our consultant practitioners collectively progressed and case-managed a total of 4920 cases inside of 9 months. Every cycle involved assessing and safely progressing 900 children, with 98% of all assessments completed to timescales, with an average of 15/20 working days.