Southampton City Council

Children and Families Service

Southampton City Council’s (SCC) Referral and Assessments service was struggling due to a spike in referrals and made an internal decision that they needed to increase workforce capacity and reduce social worker caseloads.

The council commissioned ICS Assessment Services to provide an outsourced assessment service over a 12-week period. Throughout the project, ICS agreed to manage up to 294 cases at any one time.

How we helped

SCC contracted ICS Assessment Services to deliver extra capacity within the duty and assessment functions across the city, whilst they developed and implemented a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy, addressed practice issues and looked to imbed a new practice model.

With short notice, we rapidly mobilised two teams comprising of one team manager, seven social workers and a project co-ordinator. The teams were tasked with delivering extra capacity by working cases that had been progressed to referral point by the MASH team. The teams worked cases to the agreed transfer points, ensuring consistent quality and timeliness in the outcomes for the children and their families.

Our dedicated Head of Service, along with the team managers and project co-ordinators, attended regular ‘Risks and Issues’ and ‘Keep in Touch’ meetings with key stakeholders and provided SCC with regular reporting, including a visual tracking of KPI’s, to ensure that SCC were up to date with the management of cases and the productivity of our teams.

Within a 12-week period we:

  • Supported 365 children
  • Closed 50% of all cases
  • Averaged a case turnover of 7.1 weeks
  • Averaged a CIN case turnover of 7.4 weeks
  • Made over 950 visits to families

Our managed service provided the necessary relief required within the Referral and Assessments Service in Southampton, allowing them to focus their resources on internal transformation plans.

In addition to this, it was noted during an Ofsted visit that our teams had contributed to an improvement in performance across the service.

Testimonial:

“I have been impressed by the project team approach and I am happy to endorse it as a beneficial approach for Authorities who require quick and effective social work support.”

“I was very impressed by the visual tracking of performance around key areas such as caseloads, visits in timescales, assessments in timescale, children seen etc. This suggested a good grip on critical KPI’s.”

“The team was able to be placed at relatively short notice which was a key factor for Southampton.”

Gladys Rhodes White OBE, Independent Consultant