Lancashire County Council

The results

In total, across the whole project timeframe, our team progressed cases involving 262 children and 161 families all of which were subject to statutory plans. Of these, just under 65% (170 cases) were safely closed or stepped down. Skylakes social workers carried out statutory weekly visits involving 120 children, with 100% being seen within timescales. Of 220 Child and Family (C&F) Assessments carried out, 97% were completed on time.

Of 65 children subject to Child in Need Plans over 50% were safely deescalated. This was as a result of the intensive 12 week programme delivered and by strengthening the confidence of multi-agency partners. Skylakes ensured that there was proactive partnering and joint working with early help and universal services.

Skylakes invested time to transfer skills, delivered training and provided resource packs and tool kits to the service on the 12 week CIN model and SMART business support process.

Project Highlights

  • Lancashire County Council
  • 9 month Project
  • Skylakes social workers case managed 262 children and 161 families
  • Overall 65% of cases were closed or stepped down
  • 100% of statutory visits were made within prescribed timescales

The challenge

Lancashire Children’s Social Care was facing a significant challenge in recruiting experienced social workers with the skills and knowledge to meet current needs in the North of the County. The Council decided that the most practical short-term solution was to commission an external team which could deliver reliable expertise quickly and effectively across Children’s Safeguarding within the locality.

This team needed to have multi-disciplinary expertise to cover all areas of children’s social work, including duty and assessment, Children in Need (CIN), Child Protection (CP) case management, pre-proceedings and proceedings through to permanency, Looked After Children (LAC) including Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC), and children and young people on the edge of care.

Our approach

We were able to offer Lancashire Council a superior alternative to the traditional agency recruitment model. We delivered a fully managed service which was totally social work led and driven, providing a comprehensive end-to-end solution over a 9 month period. Because our teams are self-reliant, proactive and results-focused, there was no need for the Council’s in-house staff to devote precious time or resources to project management or oversight.

We quickly mobilised a team of highly trained and experienced social workers, supported by in-house business support staff. We also appointed a skilled Project Manager who built a strong partnership with Lancashire, keeping them informed throughout the project. Our robust performance management and quality control process meant that Lancashire could focus on other service demands with the reassurance that children and young people were receiving a high quality service.

A key component of the Skylakes solution was our industry-leading 12-week CIN programme. Delivering intensive, home-based intervention, it’s a proven method of progressing or resolving CIN cases, avoiding drift and providing better outcomes for children and families.

As always we provided robust and detailed reporting against agreed benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs), including weekly data reports. Our team also provided the Council with valuable feedback and insight to help drive future service transformation.