Centre for excellence in children’s services starts work

The Centre for Excellence and Outcomes begins the task of scouring England today to identify and disseminate best practice on children’s services.

The government-funded body, known as C4EO, is currently recruiting experts to analyse and evaluate best-practice evidence which will be disseminated among local authorities, schools, police and other partners in children’s trusts.

Agencies will gain access to information in a variety of different media, including web-based “progress maps” and “regional knowledge workshops”.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families set up the body, providing a £12m grant over the next three years, to collect evidence at a local, regional and national level focusing on six key areas: early years disabled children vulnerable children youth parents, carers and families and schools and communities.

C4EO spokesperson said the immediate priorities for disabled children would be early intervention, access to play and leisure, and extending diversity of services for vulnerable children it would be improving the educational outcomes and emotional health of looked-after children and increasing the number of care leavers in settled accommodation.

For early years, the priorities will be service integration, family-based support for early learning and inclusive practice for the most excluded families.

The priorities for the three remaining groups will be set next summer.

The programme includes an annual survey of directors of children’s services, and there will be an additional annual grant of £200,000 for research on disability.

A key task will be to identify specific obstacles preventing children from achieving the five outcomes defined in the government’s Every Child Matters programme.

C4EO is being led by former Telford and Wrekin Council children’s services director Christine Davies, who is also director of the Local Government Association’s Narrowing the Gap programme to identify best practice in reducing inequalities among children.

C4EO will be run by a consortium led by the National Children’s Bureau.

Related articles

Ed Balls issues plans to engage schools in children’s services

Expert guide to children’s trusts

External information

National Children’s Bureau

National Foundation for Educational Research

Research in Practice

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Every Child Matters – information on C4EO

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