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SEPT SEMINAR SPEAKER’S BLOG: Leicestershire Children’s Innovation Partnership

Date: 23.07.19 |Categories: Featured, Uncategorised

The new partnership between Leicestershire County Council and Barnardo’s was developed to address placement sufficiency through collaborative working, seeing this issue as part of a wider system operating across children’s social care. Driven by increasing numbers of looked after children and the need to make financial efficiencies, in 2018 the Council tendered not for a service contract but for a delivery partner who shared its values, and who could “co-invest, co-design, co-produce and co-deliver services”.

The Children’s Innovation Partnership (CIP) has flexibility and innovation not usually associated with public contracts and was achieved through taking a creative approach to designing the procurement process, fully using the flexibility of the ‘light touch regime’ to engage with the market to develop a partnership model and a tender which aimed to assess the suitability of potential partners rather than procure a specific solution.

Unlike traditional social care contracts, the CIP operates a a two-tier contractual model:

  1. The first tier is underpinned by a ‘collaboration agreement’ between LCC and Barnardo’s, which sets out the governance design process. Under the agreement the Council issues design briefs to a joint design team who use their collective expertise to develop services to meet the issues outlined in these briefs.
  2. The second tier relates to the delivery of services designed by the CIP. These services can then be delivered or sub-contracted by Barnardo’s, depending on strategic and local needs. Each service delivered under the CIP will have an associated service contract.

Whilst this project is still in the early stages, there is already evidence of system-wide impact through additional capacity for both organisations, strengthening the Council’s ability to offer more flexible and responsive services, as well as bid for external funding opportunities that might not be available without a VCS partner.

To find out more from Leicestershire County Council’s Head of Service – Commissioning & Planning Children & Family Services, Liz Perfect, come to our September seminar, Public Benefit Partnerships: commissioning for innovation, social value and impact.