An award of nearly £1.6 million, with an option for a further £1.6 million next year, will support projects led by the Council to develop new and innovative ways of delivering services for vulnerable children and young people in Bradford, particularly
children in care. The amount awarded to Bradford is a significant proportion of the total funding of £11million just announced nationally.
The grant has been made by The Department for Education as part of The Innovation Programme and focuses on the policy priorities set out in Children’s social care reform: A vision for change, which was published in January 2016.
The national programme is seeking to inspire changes in the way services are delivered so that they bring:
• Better life chances for children receiving help from the social care system;
• Stronger incentives and mechanisms for innovation, experimentation and replication of successful new approaches; and
• Better value for money across children’s social care.
Within the Bradford District, the funding will help to accelerate the delivery of the Council’s Journey to Excellence initiative. At its heart this programme aims to provide safety and stability for children and work with families to build on their strengths.
The programme will transform services, improve outcomes and provide financial savings over time. It will focus on the following main areas:
1. Supporting more foster carers to meet the needs of teenagers.
2. Developing our children’s homes to provide therapeutic support to children who have suffered the trauma of abuse and neglect and enable more Bradford children to stay in Bradford.
3. Providing a better and rapid response to young people in crisis so they can be supported to return to their families as quickly as possible.
Michael Jameson, Strategic Director of Children’s Services, said: “We’re delighted that the Department for Education has recognised the strength of our bid and the innovative plans we are already putting in place. We will be using the funding to transform
for the better the services we deliver to children and young people who receive help from social care so we can improve their life chances.”
Coun Val Slater, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council and portfolio holder for health and wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic news for the District and I want to thank everyone who was involved in this successful bid. The Council will have less money in the
future and we need to look at new ways of delivering services. This funding will help us work with our partners to find better ways of delivering vital support for vulnerable children across our District.”