The government will expand the number of local authorities giving peer support to struggling children’s services as part of a £17 million investment to improve children’s social care, the children’s minister announced.
Nadhim Zahawi announced today that the investment will support the expansion of Partners in Practice authorities.
£15 million will be split between eight new Partners in Practice, whose role it is to share strong practice, deliver hands-on peer support to other councils and ultimately improve outcomes for more children and families across the country.
An authority has to be rated ‘good’ by Ofsted to qualify as a Partner in Practice, and the eight new authorities involved are: Ealing, Camden, North Tyneside and South Tyneside in partnership, Essex, Stockport, Hackney, East Riding of Yorkshire and Doncaster Trust.
The extra £2 million will be spent on a scheme to improve leadership in children’s services, which will be delivered by the Local Government Association.
Zahawi said the investment would help the “fantastic work are doing to deliver high-quality services”.
“I am also pleased to support the Local Government Association to drive good leadership, which is crucial if we want to support and encourage frontline staff to deliver excellent care for children and young people.”
Phil Norrey, the spokesperson for children and families at Solace, said the money was a “vote of confidence in local government”.
“Sector-led improvement has proven itself effective in other areas and we are pleased by the recognition that chief executives and whole-council leadership is needed to drive meaningful change.”
Richard Watts, chair of the LGA’s children and young people board, added the money will enhance the programme of sector-led support to councils.
“The achievements of councils through the sector-led improvement approach demonstrate its success and shows what councils can achieve by working together and supporting one another.”