North Somerset Council is a high performing unitary authority. Overall the area we serve is a prosperous one with great potential for growth but there are also significant pockets of real deprivation. The Council benefits from a strong political commitment to innovation and has ambitious plans to improve the lives of local people and achieve better outcomes for children and families. We share with many areas the challenge of a significant number of children in care, and a range of related social problems characteristic of coastal communities. Our profile of looked after children indicates that we have a high proportion looked after under voluntary arrangements (i.e. under section 20 of the Children Act 1989) particularly in the 10 - 17 years age range. It is well documented that outcomes for children and young people looked after are not generally as favourable as the wider population. In response the Council has commissioned an intensive family support service through a Social Impact Bond (SIB) investment model that aims to 'turn the tide' on these poor outcomes for vulnerable families. The Turning the Tide SIB aims to reduce the need for children and young people to be looked after, by either working with families to keep children safely at home, or by keeping care placements short and reuniting children and young people with their families as soon as possible. A new Core Assets 'Safe Stronger Families' service which brings together a combination of Triple P and Solution Focused Brief Therapy underpinned by Team Parenting has been commissioned to flexibly support and respond to vulnerable families circumstances and needs. Social Impact Bonds are a relatively new way to fund public services which deliver socially beneficial outcomes. Investors fund a service to improve outcomes and the Council repays them if those outcomes are achieved. In North Somerset the new service is being supported through investment secured from Bridges Fund Management. The Council seeks to commission an independent evaluation of both the Council itself and the SIB provider, to enable a clear and robust understanding of the impact of the SIB to improve outcomes for children and young people. The evaluation will have two elements; the impact of the SIB in improving the specific and individual outcomes of service users and their families and; how the process of the SIB has improved the position of the Council as a whole. Both are essential but we see the first element as most important and therefore, where we would expect the majority of the work to be focused. The Evaluator service will be in place for a period of 5 years - this is 12 months longer than the term of the SIB itself, as the Council recognises the success of interventions in the 4th year will not be known until several months after the intervention is completed, necessitating evaluation after the SIB itself has concluded.
Walliscote Grove Road
Contract value: 150000-150000
Published: 4 Jul 2017, Receipt by: 9 Aug 2017
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