Powys County Council

The results

In total over the 12-week period of the project, the Skylakes team managed and progressed cases involving 153 children and 74 families.

83 of 107 care and wellbeing assessments resulted in the cases being closed, and 10 cases were stepped down. Of the remaining cases, 11 were referred to CIN, two to Initial Child Protection Conference (ICPC) and one became Looked After (LAC).

In terms of CIN cases, our 12 week CIN programme was deployed. This is an intensive specialist programme designed to deescalated children in a planned way to the Team Around the Family (TAF). Three CIN meetings were held for each of 40 children allocated to Skylakes, with 100% being seen every week during the 12-week programme. 17 of these cases were safely closed, 13 were stepped down and 10 remained on CIN.

All six Child Protection cases held within our team were successfully deescalated following our intensive intervention.

Three thematic audit reports were completed in line with CCSIW standards, with a total of 81 CP and LAC cases being audited.

Project Highlights

  • Powys County Council
  • July to September 2017
  • 107 Care and Wellbeing Assessments 97% within Statutory Timescales
  • Skylakes social workers managed a portfolio of cases involving 153 children and 74 families
  • 40 CIN cases 100% had 3 reviews in 12 weeks

The challenge

The Powys County Council (PCC) Children’s Social Care team needed rapid external spanning across all divisions, including support to complete a range of care and wellbeing assessments, known in other parts of the UK as Child & Family (C&F) assessments. There was also a need to progress a cohort of Child in Need (CIN) cases, some Child Protection (CP) cases and Form F assessments for potential foster carers and a requirement for an experienced auditor to join the QA team.

Skylakes is a market leader in social care partnerships and our unique, adaptable business model enables us to provide a fully managed service quickly and reliably. Therefore, we were able to respond to PCC with a practical, cost-effective solution for this multi-peripatetic project.

Our approach

We mobilised a team of fully-qualified children’s social care practitioners with substantial direct experience of the specialist areas involved in the project, overseen by an experienced Project Manager. Vital support was provided by a dedicated Skylakes administration team. This enabled the practitioners to focus on timely intervention to achieve the best outcomes for the children concerned.

Five of the seven Skylakes social workers were focused on progressing assessments and undertaking direct intervention with the children and their families.  Skylakes innovative social work model meant that our families received intensive intervention, reducing the risk of continued statutory intervention and focused on delivering better outcomes for the children.

The remaining two social care practitioners in the team worked on complex case audits highlighting themes, patterns and trends to inform improvement and Foster Carer Reviews and Form F assessments.

The whole team was managed together despite the varied work range. This peripatetic approach spanned county wide across Powys.

Accountability and quality Assurance are always at the heart of what we do. Having set clear performance indicators and desired outcomes, we put in place procedures for regular updates and detailed reporting, including weekly face-to-face meetings between the Skylakes Senior Leadership Team and key PCC stakeholders.

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