Budget and Strategic Planning

Unstable and volatile Children’s Services budgets cause annual reactionary responses to plugging budget overspends and meeting statutory requirements which often result in additional operational pressures which in turn contribute to the cycle of continued budgetary pressure.

To change this cycle, we believe a strategic budget and planning approach which enables the organisation to impact on the following key drivers of cost and demand.

  • Social Care Demand
  • Placement costs
  • High Needs Block, including SEND provision.
  • Lack of flexible 3 -5 years budget planning cycles

Our approach to meeting these challenges is to bring a strategic and rigorous approach to setting and managing budgets. Often on a three-year programme, which enable transformation of resources necessary to have the maximum impact on the cost and demand drivers to produce an immediate financial impact and a sustainable model which brings future budget stability.

This approach has enabled us to work with LA’s to design, develop and implement programmes of work that have been approved by CEO’s, Members and DfE. The impact of the expertise we provide has included the following outcomes:

Our approaches are evidenced based to meet local needs and include: 

  • DfE comendment of the redevelopment of 2 underperforming SEND Safety Valve plans to the valve of £88m and £48m and the redevelopment of a Delivering Best Value Plan to the valve of £35m
  • Annual cost savings of between £5m – £12m per assignment delivered by a small team of experts.

Our approaches are evidenced based to meet local needs and include: 

  • SEND Safety Valve and Delivering Best Valve plans in collaboration with school leaders that will deliver demand and cost reduction for high-cost interventions by Inclusion in schools, earlier and timely interventions and improved commissioning.
  • Develop and implement multi-agency panels which reduce demand and unnecessary expenditure on high-cost services
  • Targeted intervention strategies such as Edge of Care and support for families which reverse trajectories of progression through higher cost services enabling more children to stay in family environments.
  • An “art of the possible” approach to capital investment to reduce high cost and out of area placements and increases mainstream school provision for children with high level of need
  • Work with corporate finance colleagues to set three-year strategic budgets with performance milestones for achieving outcome and financial targets.