National charity, The Children’s Society, has been announced as the lead provider of a new children’s social care innovation programme – Inside Out - being piloted in the East of England.
The local authorities of Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk were awarded £3million by the Department for Education last year to trial a new approach to delivering children’s social care across each of the three areas.
As part of the pilot, The Children’s Society has been awarded grant funding to recruit a team of coaches. The coaches will provide support for young people in residential placements, helping to improve their stability and successfully ‘step down’ to less intensive care wherever appropriate and possible.
A coach will work intensively one-on-one with a young person and their family, giving tailored support based on their individual needs and working alongside the young person’s social worker, current residential provider and other agencies involved in their life.
Councillor Dick Madden, Essex County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said: “We’re extremely pleased to announce The Children’s Society will be joining our pilot innovation programme, following their impressive application which included a strong focus on achieving real, sustained change for young people.
“This announcement marks an important milestone in the project and reinforces the fact that we are truly at the forefront of innovation in children’s social care. I’m proud of how multiple partners have come together to pioneer a new way of working.
“The Children’s Society has a positive track record of working with vulnerable children and young people nationally and we look forward to working closely with them to mobilise the new model over the coming months.”
Kerry Clancy-Horner, Children and Families Area Manager for the East of England at The Children’s Society, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded funding to create the Inside Out coaching service which we hope will make a real difference to the lives of looked after young people and keep them safe and settled.
“Young people who are in the care of the local authority often have several issues in their lives; they may move around frequently between foster care placements, feel isolated and are particularly vulnerable to running away from home, putting them at greater risk of being sexually exploited.
“These children deserve to have a good childhood and we hope this innovative approach will improve their overall stability and help them have better lives as they grow up.”