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Third of LAs to receive innovation funding

DfE director Graham Archer has revealed that 45 of 152 LAs have been awarded a total of £59.4m, to be handed out over five instalments across 2015.

The money has been awarded through the Department for Education Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme, to pilot improvements to children’s social work, including early intervention initiatives and commissioning care. 

In a letter to successful councils detailing payment arrangements, he says that councils that supporting families where teenagers are at risk of being taken into care is a key priority for the fund. 

“The Children’s Social Care Innovation Programme supports the development, testing and spreading of more effective ways of supporting children and families who need help from children’s social care services.”

The largest grant handed out so far is to Leeds who received £5m to offer early intervention support to troubled families with complex needs which will have a strong focus on family group conferencing and ensuring conflicts do not escalate.  

Hertfordshire CC also received £4.86m to set up 26 family safeguarding teams where social workers will be trained in psychological counselling to better support families.

Recently Hackney have been added to the list to develop an intensive support programme for young people at risk of gang involvement and child sexual exploitation. This will take place away from those neighbourhoods in the borough that have a strong gang presence.