Children’s Services

Sponsored by: 

Birmingham Children's Trust

Being the best we can be

Birmingham Children's Trust, established in 2018 to address 15 years of failure, has transformed services for children in Birmingham and is now 'Good'. We have done this through partnership, innovation and a focus on enabling our people to be the best we can be. Our values, our vision and our strategic planning have created a new culture and enabled our services and our people to develop and to grow, with a team of 2000 that is engaged motivated and committed to do better for the city's most vulnerable.

Dundee City Council 

Promise to our care experienced children and young people

This nomination shows how Dundee City Council Children and Families Service has led on an ambitious partnership programme of transformational change in the way we jointly support all vulnerable children, young people and families. Under the 5 foundations of People, Family, Care, Voice and Scaffolding, the service has implemented multiple aligned actions which have built capacity, improved outcomes and generated substantial cost savings. Using a data-driven approach, next steps will include the development of a clear edge of care offer, new models of practice in family support and targeted support to children and young people in kinship care.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council 

Voices mean choices

'Voices Mean Choices' is an ambitious and exciting 2.5 year strategic partnership between Barnardo’s and East Riding of Yorkshire Council Children’s Services using design thinking methodology to create systemic change for children. We aim to improve the identification of, and the response to, child exploitation in the East Riding at scale. Our mission is to co-create a system that identifies abuse and exploitation earlier, recognises the child and their family’s needs and responds to meet those needs. The first year of the project has involved a huge amount of research and engagement with children to co-design services.

Sheffield City Council 

Sufficiency strategic intent

Sheffield, like all councils is operating in very challenging circumstances. The cost-of-living crisis, funding cuts to local authorities and demand puts us under significant pressure. We have responded to this pressure by ensuring that we take a strategic approach – investing heavily in early help, ensuring that our workforce model meets the needs of our city’s children. In 2023 we started to articulate our strategic intent in 5, Plain English, sentences that demonstrated our commitment to keeping children with their families and their communities and providing an outstanding service to children in care.

Stockport MBC 

Family drug and alcohol court

“I don’t think I'd be where I am today without Family Drug and Alcohol Court.”

“I want more people to get the help that I have. It’s benefited me dramatically. It's made me a better person.”

Positive testimonials from parents who have first-hand experience of Stockport’s pioneering Family Drug and Alcohol Court. Professionals and parents work together to develop solutions so parents can make lasting improvements in their lives. More children have been able to stay with their families through its collaborative approach. Its success has encouraged other councils to partner with Stockport as an alternative to standard care proceedings.

Wakefield MBC 

Transforming children's services: a national challenge tackled locally

How do you improve placement sufficiency without increasing places? How do you increase every success measure for children in council care while staying within budget? And how do you improve staff satisfaction at the same time? Ask Wakefield Council. In one year, it has transformed its approach to children’s homes and 16+ support, creating two-bed homes while closing its larger provision, and boldly opening the UK’s only therapeutic children’s home for de-escalating severe trauma, co-funded by health partners. This led to a 60% reduction in out-of-area placements and halving of placement moves to 6.5% (beating the national average of 10%).

Westminster City Council & Kensington and Chelsea RBC 

We got u, u got this

In Spring 2023, we launched ‘We Got U, U Got This’, a mental health campaign to promote local services, particularly our early intervention offer and to empower young residents. We worked with Young K&C, our umbrella organisation working with all youth providers, other partners, a youth marketing agency and local young people to co-design an impactful campaign. The campaign included a new webpage for mental health services, videos and in-person engagements.. A local young videographer produced six videos with local providers to break down common issues faced by young people, and provide insight into what different providers offer.

Westminster City Council & Kensington and Chelsea RBC 

Westminster clinical work

Westminster Children Services have implemented and embedded Systemic Practice as a whole system relational approach in working with children, families and their communities. To support the delivery of systemic practice, Westminster have invested in a Clinical Team of 11 clinical/ family/psychotherapists to support practice and deliver a range of interventions to improve outcomes for children and their families and provide a supportive environment for our workforce.

Westminster City Council & Kensington and Chelsea RBC 

Virtual reality for relaxation and wellbeing in response to serious youth violence

In response to incidents of Serious Youth Violence (SYV) and the impact this has had on communities in Westminster, we developed a Virtual Reality (VR) for Relaxation and Wellbeing programme which works with members of the community who have been affected by or may be susceptible to involvement in SYV. VR is used as a therapeutic and educational tool tailored to the needs of young people and their families. The use of this technology has had overwhelmingly positive results in addressing the aftermath of incidents through therapy, increasing awareness of support services and improving engagement with those vulnerable to SYV.