We recently held a thinkSpace event that brought together third sector organisations in Scotland, as well as representatives from The City of Edinburgh Council and NHS Lothian to develop ideas around system change to improve the lives of children and young people in Edinburgh.
We were joined by Kevin Miller from Glasgow City Council and Andrew Murray from Safe Families for Children Scotland who presented their model for system change from the North-East Together consortium. A group of third sector organisations in North-East Glasgow have been working with Glasgow City Council over the last two years to expand the capacity of third sector work with more families who don’t require long term statutory intervention.
Analysis of the data has shown that the system is at breaking point: approximately 1 in 10 children in the most deprived localities of Glasgow are known to social work, £94.9 million is spent on care placements each year and children received into care have over 60% chance of being accommodated out with Glasgow.
A new approach has started to be developed for families who are not in need of a social worker to prevent situations worsening and statutory intervention becoming a necessity. Change ideas highlighted include: improved partnership working, reallocation of resources and joint assessment procedures, enabling third sector organisations to support vulnerable families to thrive and stay together, reducing the need for statutory services.
Having been inspired by the above concept, we considered how we could shift resources into early action for children’s services within Edinburgh, focusing on the following questions:
· What does change look like?
· How do local systems work?
· What are the barriers to change?
This event is the start of a conversation between third sector organisations working with children, young people and the statutory sector to improve the lives of children and their families in Edinburgh.
Our next event will be held on June 19th in partnership with colleagues from Children and Families Social Work at The City of Edinburgh Council- we look forward to the prevention strategies around models of systems change we can develop at this event.