Start-up fostering service

Start-up fostering service

Designing and implementing a new specialist fostering service for teenagers

Client:
Bexley Council
Category:
Children's Services
Length:
7 months

Designing and implementing a new specialist fostering service for teenagers

Fostering services are expensive and yet the outcomes for care leavers are extremely poor. 38% of care leavers are not in education, employment or training compared with 11% of all young people. To address this problem, the council intended to pilot a new, specialist service for teenagers with challenging behaviours - the Pioneer service.

£2m+

Net savings identified by Year 3

28

Young people supported to stay with their families by Year 3

The aim was to train foster carers to support young people with the intention of improving their behaviour through a short-term foster placement. They could then return to their families and avoid entering the care system. Bexley asked FutureGov to implement a new Pioneer service with the fostering team and ground the experience in the real needs of teenagers.

We took a systems approach, conducting depth interviews, observation and prototyping with all users - from young people and their families, through to foster carers and social workers. We then iteratively designed the target user experience and the “back-end” of the service.

FutureGov has brought to Bexley energy, passion, commitment and new working practices that provoke us to problem-solve in completely new ways

– Anne-Louise Clark, Head of Transformation and Change, London Borough of Bexley

Our strategic work helped Bexley to clarify its service vision, desired outcomes and predicted savings. Finally, we set up the delivery team for success - designing critical piloting tools such as job descriptions (to recruit Pioneer foster carers) and an evaluation framework.

Our savings model for the Pioneer service projects net savings of over £2 million in year three. The service will prevent children from entering the care system unnecessarily and achieve better long-term outcomes. Our project was also a catalyst for cultural change within Bexley - the fostering team continues to work in agile by testing and iterating.


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