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London authorities win bid on new data project for vulnerable children and families

Sutton Council leads a pan-London bid to secure funding to help local authorities improve their use of data to better plan services for vulnerable children and families.

30/09/21

London authorities win bid on new data project for vulnerable children and families

The success of the pan-London bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government secures funding for a project that will help all London local authorities improve their use of data to better plan services for vulnerable children and families.

The Data Accelerator Fund will see councils in London work more closely with police forces, local NHS services and schools to look at how they use their information to commission services that ensure children and families receive the most effective help and services.

According to the ISOS Under Pressure Children’s Services report 2020, London local authorities spend approximately £750 million a year on children in their care, with placement costs increasing significantly year on year.

Sutton Council led a bid on behalf of the 33 London boroughs, successfully securing just under £1 million to set up a two-year project to develop a London sufficiency statement, which will underpin the Government’s reform of the placements market, which it says will “deliver improved outcomes for children at improved cost for London local authorities.”

The project will also develop a pan-London platform to plan and manage the London placement market to reduce cost and improve outcomes, choice and experience for children in London local authority care.

Councillor Marian James, Chair of Sutton Council’s People Committee at Sutton Council, said the information gathered from the project will help to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

“It is vital that we know that we are providing the right support for the borough’s children, young people and their families, especially those in our care.

“The project will enable the task group to develop a new system to help council’s get best value for money when commissioning providers, by economies of scale. Crucially, Council’s will have greater tools to better identify the physical and mental health needs of vulnerable children and young people, which are often a precursor to involvement with children’s social care, and ultimately their journey into the care system.”

In the South West London strand of the project, Sutton Council will lead a group of five local authorities to work with the NHS, police and other partners on analysis to help achieve a collective understanding of what needs are poorly met, and how partners can support them.

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