Local authorities to receive ‘definitive guide’ to commissioning for looked-after children

Local authorities are set to benefit from a guide to commissioning for looked-after children, which will offer advice on how to cope with the unprecedented rise in referrals to children’s social care teams.

The guide, produced by the government-funded Commissioning Support Programme (CSP), gives examples of best practice from across the country.

It relates to the six statutory commissioning standards for children in care and includes suggestions for individual assessment and care planning, strategic needs assessment and market management.

Lorraine O’Reilly, programme director at CSP, argued that delivering services for looked-after children is one of the greatest challenges facing councils.

“Demand on services is rising dramatically, and at the same time there is pressure to make cuts,” she explained. “There has been a significant increase in demand for support. This guide is the first to address the issues faced by children’s services and we anticipate that this will become the definitive guide to commissioning for looked-after children.

“As a sector we must pull together and learn quickly from best practice across the country and radically redesign commissioning models to protect our most vulnerable children and families.”

The guide forms part of the CSP Outcomes and Efficiency programme, which aims to radically redesign children’s services.

It is available to download on the CSP website www.commissioningsupport.org.uk.