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Coventry wins innovation bid to help children and families

Published Monday, 10 July 2017

Coventry’s Children’s Services has successfully bid for £871,000 to help prevent children from being repeatedly referred into social care.

The bid was made to the Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme.

It will see the Council work with social business Catch22 to make crucial early interventions with children in need and their families to try and stop repeat referrals and escalations into the care system.

The Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme has supported 95 projects to date aimed at using pioneering approaches to improve children’s services across the country.

John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services, said: “I’m delighted we have been successful with this bid. We have demonstrated with our recent Ofsted verdict that we are improving our services for the most vulnerable children, and this helps us keep up the momentum.

“We identified an issue with a high level of re-referrals and we came up with an innovative approach to tackling it.”

Cllr Ed Ruane, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “We know that in social care prevention is often better than cure. This project will help us get involved with families providing tailored solutions and support to prevent problems before they escalate into something worse.

“I’m looking forward to working together with Catch22 to help us transform children’s services in this crucial area.”

Catch22 has experience in working with local authorities to support vulnerable children, including a similar project in Crewe. The Department for Education has released their Randomised Control Trial evaluation report – the first in the UK for children’s social care- showing Project Crewe to have promising indications of impact.

Pamela Dow, Chief Reform Officer for Catch22, said: "The Department for Education’s Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme is proving to be that elusive goal: a genuinely collaborative, self-improving, measurably effective, public policy.  As we have seen in Crewe and South Yorkshire it has been the catalyst for truly joined-up approaches to children’s social care, allowing people to pool resources where they can have most impact and break down silos. Catch22 is looking forward to working with the team in Coventry to build on successes in other projects, adapting them to local needs and strengths, and improving outcomes for children and families in Coventry."

About Catch22

Catch22 is a social business, a not for profit business with a social mission. For over 200 years we have designed and delivered services that build resilience and aspiration in people and communities.

Our 1600 colleagues work at every stage of the social welfare cycle, supporting 40,000 individuals from cradle to career. Today we deliver children’s social care, alternative education, apprenticeships and employability programmes, justice and rehabilitation services (in prisons and in the community), gangs intervention work, emotional wellbeing and substance misuse programmes.

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