The Department for Education (DfE) is seeking applications from local authorities in England to a new programme which will invest £84 million over 5 years to support up to 20 local authorities to improve work with families and safely reduce the number of children entering care.
The Strengthening Families, Protecting Children (SFPC) programme will support selected local authorities to adapt and adopt one of 3 children’s social care innovation programme projects in their own area.
These projects aim to improve the safety and stability of vulnerable children and to reduce the need for families to access services.
They will do this by:
- strengthening local practice systems
- developing services that build resilience in families
- facilitating a confident social work ethos that manages risk safely within the home.
Local authorities who join the programme will be fully supported to help implement their chosen model in their areas. They will receive funding and on-the-ground support to do this from the local authorities who designed the projects (Leeds, Hertfordshire or North Yorkshire).
DfE are looking for up to 20 local authorities with high or rising numbers of looked after children to take part in the programme.
Local authorities are eligible to join the programme if they have:
- an Ofsted rating of ‘requires improvement to be good’
- high rates of looked after children compared to their local authority statistical neighbour median over for the last 3 years, and/or rising rates of looked after children in each of the last 3 years
DfE will select local authorities to join the programme based on their need, suitability and commitment to make a whole-system change such as this. These criteria will be assessed over the summer, with local authorities announced
DfE will select local authorities to join the programme based on their need, suitability and commitment to make a whole-system change such as this. These criteria will be assessed over the summer, with local authorities announced from September.
DfE will contact local authorities that are eligible to join the programme with further information and detail on how they can register their interest to get involved.
For more information about the strengthening families, protecting children programme, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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