Social workers may have to sign contracts with other agencies when agreeing to payment by results-based early intervention services if a recommendation from Graham Allen’s second report is accepted by government.
According to Stephen Hughes, chief executive of Birmingham city council, Allen’s second report on early intervention in children’s services, due to be published later this month, proposes multi-agency work be conducted on an official, contractual basis.
“It’s a real challenge to get the different agencies to agree on one course of action,” Hughes told Community Care. “When putting together a payment by results package, you need to think about who’s taking the risk.
“One of the potential problems is that, when the bill comes in, that’s not a time for agencies to argue with each other – they need to stick to an agreement to split the cost between them. A contract, drawn up in advance, is the only way to ensure that cooperation.”
Hughes said he believed Allen’s early intervention proposals were going to be “the next big thing” in public service delivery going forward.
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