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Profit Making and Risk in Independent Children’s Social Care Placement Providers

Local authorities in England spend more than £2bn a year buying fostering and children's homes services alone from private and voluntary sector organisations (collectively referred to as the independent sector). Local authorities themselves continue to provide most foster placements, but around two in every five foster placements are made with independent sector providers. In children's homes the reverse is true. Here, three in every four placements are made in the independent sector.

Children's Homes Research

The concerns of London local authorities in meeting sufficiency duties described in the first study and the severity of this in relation to residential children's homes, are recognised as a theme across the country. This study was commissioned by the LGA to look at the policies, barriers, and facilitators for local authorities and smaller independent providers in establishing children's homes.

Safe Foster Care for Victims of Child Sexual Exploitation

This study is the first UK evaluation of specialist foster care for children at risk, or victims, of child sexual exploitation (CSE) and/or trafficking. It investigates how well the Safe Accommodation Project reduced risk and safeguarded these children.

Foster-Care Commissioning in an Age of Austerity: The Experiences and Views of the Independent Provider Sector in One English Region

This paper reports findings from a study on the effects of austerity measures on local authority commissioners and independent fostering providers (IFPs) in the year following the coalition government's first Spending Review in 2010. It highlights legal and procedural factors which may present a challenge to effective foster-care provision.

Machine learning in children’s services: does it work?

What Works for Children’s Social Care worked with four local authorities to develop models to predict eight outcomes for individual cases. The predictions all focused on a point within the children’s journey where the social worker would be making a decision about whether to intervene in a case or not and the level of intervention required, and looked ahead to see whether the case would escalate at a later point.