Stockport Children’s Services team is one from six local authorities who have been selected and secured funding to partner on an innovative change project with the What Works Centre for Children’s Social Care.
The two project areas have a total budget of £2.4 million and Stockport Children’s Services, Stockport Family, will be working on the project which will see social workers located in schools to work with children and families.
The selected partners will work with the What Works Centre until March 2020. The aim is to see if locating social work expertise and services closer to schools and local communities where children are living and learning will reduce the need to refer children and families for further statutory intervention and also reduce pressure on the ‘front door’ of children’s social care.
The projects will focus on empowering social workers in decision making, providing earlier social care help to children and making better use of available resources. A rigorous pilot evaluation will be managed by the Centre’s research partner, Cardiff University’s Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE) who will work with Stockport on project set up and evaluation. It is hoped the successful pilots will lead to larger scale evaluations from 2020.
Councillor Colin Foster, Stockport Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Family Services said
“We are really pleased to be working with the What Works Centre on the social workers in schools change programme. This is a great opportunity to develop, test and evaluate Stockport Family’s model of placing social work in the heart of communities within the borough’s schools, to better meet the needs of Stockport’s children, families, schools and communities.”