Essex County Council (ECC), in partnership with Hertfordshire and Norfolk County Councils, is set to receive an additional £1.1million from the Department for Education (DfE) to continue work to support young people in care and their families.
The project – Inside Out – which originally launched as a pilot in Essex in 2018, is aimed at improving stability for children and young people in residential care and supporting them to return home, or successfully ‘step down’ to less intensive care wherever appropriate and possible.
The three organisations received £3million from the DfE’s children’s social care innovation programme fund to roll out the new model in 2017. It involves young people working with a dedicated coach, flexibly and on their own terms.
The coaches – provided by The Children’s Society – provide a consistent and prolonged point of contact for young people, and remain with them throughout their journey in care, regardless of where they are living.
Inside Out has already achieved positive outcomes for young people, providing stability at what can be a worrying time. The additional money will allow the three organisations to extend and consider expanding the current offer, to help even more young people at this challenging time.
Cllr Louise McKinlay, ECC’s Cabinet Member for Children and Families, said:
“Family stability is so crucial to secure positive outcomes for young people, especially at this time and the additional funding will allow us to build on the successes we’ve seen across the Inside Out project to date.
“The funding is fantastic news for all three partners and a true testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the project. It shows that even during the circumstances we all find ourselves in, our commitment to protecting and supporting children and their families never wavers.”
Following an initial pilot in Essex, the Inside Out model was rolled out in Hertfordshire and Norfolk in 2019.
A recent evaluation report, compiled by the Tavistock Institute, concluded that Inside Out has had a positive impact both in respect of short to medium term outcomes for young people, as well as financially. The DfE plans to publish the report later this year.