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The UK Government has this month announced the continuation of the Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, which was launched for the first time in 2014.

It follows the publishing of the “Children’s Social Care Reform: A Vision for Change” paper, which highlighted the ongoing need to free up front line social workers and help nurture their talents to improve the quality of children’s social care.

What is the Innovation Programme?

The Innovation Programme was devised to encourage organisations, including Local Authorities, to consider the implementation of new methods of delivery for children’s social care. It is the aim of the programme to fund such projects, especially those that provide ‘consistent and long-lasting supportive relationships for young people’ through innovation.

What does the Innovation Programme aim to improve?

Only two care-leaver services have been recently rated by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’, with two-thirds ‘requiring improvement’ or found to be ‘inadequate’. Of those adolescents that leave the care system to return to their birth families, 40% return to care within 5 years.

By testing and implementing innovative models for children’s social care, it is hoped that a higher standard of care can be achieved that results in less care-leavers returning to the system.

How can an organisation get involved?

A full copy of the publication can be found on the GOV.UK website, which details the steps an organisation can take to get involved in the Innovation Programme:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/childrens-social-care-innovation-programme

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