The commissioning of fostering services sits in an environment of increasing needs of children and young people, national austerity, the economic challenges of Covid-19, a need for accountability, procurement bureaucracy and local/regional fragmentation. A lack of sufficiency in fostering means that hard-pressed local authorities struggle to find the right option for a child when needed and where needed. A complex range of overlapping, changing and developing commissioning arrangements are in place across England, Scotland and Wales to try and address these complex challenges. Some of these have created positive partnerships, others seem to have created greater division at a cost to struggling budgets.

But how much of this is working? How much have we learned from what has worked in the past? What are the commissioning priorities - is it lower cost? Better value for money? More choice? Does commissioning of fostering services help us meet children's needs? Is commissioning helping us to understand the impact of fostering services? This half-day webinar will bring together local authority commissioners and independent fostering agencies with the aim of unpicking some of these key themes and learning from each other. Speakers include:

  • Mapping fostering commissioning arrangements across England, Scotland and Wales (Marie Tucker, NAFP Associate)
  • Introducing Transformational Collaborative Outcomes Management (TCOM) England and the Child and Adolescent Needs and Strengths (CANS): Putting needs and outcomes at the centre of commissioning (Dr. Mark Kerr, Outcomes of Care)
  • What do local authorities need from the commissioning of fostering services (Gareth Wilson, IFA South Central Framework)
  • What does effective partnership/collaboration look like? (Allan Madeley, Greater Manchester Combined Authority)

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