Tami McCrone, Clare Southcott
04 August 2011
Innovations in practice in local authority children’s services face a number of key questions in the current organisational and economic environment. Among these is whether the longer-term benefits in terms of impact be proven to outweigh the costs of implementation of a programme or initiative? The challenge, while being mindful of cost-effectiveness, is to evidence how practice can be sustained and replicated. The Local Government Group (LG Group) commissioned NFER to examine how identified effective practice examples have been, or could be, replicated and sustained, with a view to informing guidelines for future practice.
Guidelines were produced based on these findings, which are available as an interactive web resource and in printable format.
- Appropriate ‘buy-in’ from key individuals at a strategic and operational level was considered particularly important in order to promote and drive the programme forward. Evidence showed that collaborative working and consistency of core principles and evidence of impact were often also perceived to be vital.
- Ensuring resources and adequate funding are secured and that long-term impact outweighs costs were felt to be important. Other essential factors included defining the key stages of the operational process, devising a clear plan at the outset, having a documented system and embedding that system.
- Key challenges identified included the need to manage and support staff through change, the potential impact of budget cuts, and challenges involved in meeting the needs of a particular community.