DfE Project Phase 2

DfE Project Phase 2 is funded by the Department for Education and aims to develop a specification for new and innovative provision for looked after children with a particular focus on the following key elements:

  • Flexible, creative provision designed to meet the needs of complex children, including options to ‘step across’ various forms of provision (e.g. residential to fostering)
  • Keeping children local, as close to their home address as possible
  • Working with providers who already offer both residential and fostering services and with small providers, developing joined up partnerships, enabling movement between each as appropriate to need
  • Exploring options for considering lifetime costs for placements, the potential to invest in more intensive early interventions, with a view to improving outcomes and potentially reducing longer term costs
  • Including measures of progress for children placed based on assessment at the point of placement (regularly reviewed up until placement end using an evidence-based assessment tool)

The model will be developed collaboratively between local authorities and providers, finding innovative and creative ways to procure, drawing on relationship commissioning models. It will focus on the competitive advantage to be leveraged by working together, developing better ways to support children and young people.


Governance & Reports

Lucy Butler (DCS, West Sussex) and Peter Sandiford (CEO ICHA) are the joint Proejct Sponsors.

The Project Board and Project Team members can be found here.

The four authorities represented on the Project Board are West Sussex, Portsmouth, Milton Keynes and Kent.

The last meeting was held on Monday 18th January 2021 between 9.30 and 11.30 via MS Teams.

Commissioners' Network

We have set up a Commissioners' Network to support this project. If you are interested in joining us, please email Isabelle Gregory, the Project Network Co-ordinator, contact details below.

Participants in the network are kept informed of progress as well as exemplars of good practice. It  also provides a conduit for you to pass any comments you may have on the project as it develops.  The Network's Terms of Reference can be dowloaded here.