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Spring 2017 saw the journey of "Putting Children First" (the Government's policy paper on Vulnerable Children published in July'16) reach the end of its Parliamentary journey. It was granted Royal Assent on 27th April becoming the Children & Social Work Act.

The Act should bring new statutory imperatives for the whole-sector:

Regional and sub-regional commissioning of services: a need for collaborative working across traditional Public Sector geographical boundaries

A mixed economy of providers: including increased collaboration in service delivery with Charities

'Sector - led' models of organisational improvement: predicated on ‘peer to peer’ support and taking learning from the Education Sector

Adoption of ‘Corporate Parenting Principles’: to govern a whole – organisation approach at Local Authority level to promoting the interests of vulnerable children, with its key agency partners in Education, Health, Social Care

Renewed emphasis on the importance of strong multi-agency partnerships: accountability for local safeguarding arrangements, set within a new national framework, to sit equally between LAs, Health, Police. Local CSBs destined to be retired

New lines of accountability within Schools: aimed at ensuring excellent outcomes for Looked After Children by strenghtening measures for those adopted from State Care. To be prioritised, through capacity-building of designated staff who take responsibility for statutory guidance;

New regulatory body for SW: Social Work England

Compulsory SRE for schools:, agreed in partnership with parent-carers with a fresh focus on Relationships Education

"Local Offer" to be extended to Care Leavers

The DfE have previously highlited three priority themes - in their words: People and Leadership, Practice and Systems, Governance and Accountability as the strategic framework for the intended outcomes of the Act.

So where are we now?

Well, commencement has been slightly more tricky to pin down, the Government being as distracted as it is, by the need for a coalition partner and by Brexit.

But an Act it is, nonetheless.

The onward march towards whole-system adoption of sector-led improvement models, practice-led innovation, co-production and collaborative commissioning (crossing practice, policy and geographical boundaries) not going anywhere, anytime soon!

I remain as conformable in my ‘implementation’ skin, as I am in my strategic and policy shoes. So if you have a complex mix of stakeholders, organisational partnerships and cross-sector boundaries to navigate, give me a call. Always happy to explore new ways of working.

Jo Broad updated 06.12.16
05.04.17, 27.04.17. (all information subject to influence of statutory commencement orders/implementation frameworks)

KindleCo News

Autumn 2017 News: Children & Social Work Act - A Land Of Challenge And Opportunity

When the Government published 'Putting Children First' in July 2016 (the DfE's Policy paper on Children and Social Work) there was considerable doubt in the sector as to the Bill's likely success, and what changes it would bring as an Act.
Key to predicting with relative certainty the outcome, was taking a careful look at its antecedents in Policy terms over the past 3-5 years: the Children & Families, Devolution, Education & Adoption Acts, and a new LA remit for Public Health.

Armed with a small splash of wisdom born out of experience, it became clear to those of us with a track record of interpreting Public Policy announcements, that the Bill would indeed go through and at a relatively fast pace....

Royal Assent was granted just as Parliament closed in April ’17, for the General Election and most key elements from 'Putting Children First' made it onto the statute books. You can read my earlier predictions on this, by clicking through this News article.
But where are we now?

Read on for my quick fire overview. Enjoy!

Emotional Health & Mental Wellbeing: Vulnerable Children, Their Families And Professional Supporters - Reflective Spaces

When the Government's new guidance to promote Health & Wellbeing of Looked After Children was published back in 2015, it rightly promoted integrated agency working.

But what about the Health & Wellbeing of the adults involved in supporting vulnerable children, Looked After, or not?

There is an army out there of parents, carers, schools staff, public sector workers, and volunteers all engaging with vulnerable Children and Young People.

How can their wellbeing also be supported so they can process the emotional impact of this work and 'stay whole'?....

Understanding Your Stakeholders...

For a business development manager in the Health Outcomes sector, KindleCo recently produced a quick fire briefing note - to help bring a busy individual up to speed on their Stakeholder eco-system. "My job entails juggling multiple stakeholder interests with both the Public & Private sectors as partners…

Kindleco: Continuing To Support Developments At Innovative National Children's Charity

“As a national charity at the cutting edge of support for vulnerable children & families, The Mulberry Bush Organisation has to evolve in response to government led change" – Children & Families Act, the arrival of Health & Wellbeing Boards, the changing public sector landscape for Mental Health, ..."now is no exception", says John Diamond, CEO... read more...

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