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Action research into the more effective strategic commissioning of children’s residential care homes

Interim Report

This interim report presents evidence collected from our action research into the strategic commissioning of children’s residential care homes. The research was commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and undertaken by the Office for Public Management (OPM). The research was designed to generate understanding about how local authorities are planning for, responding to and managing issues related to the strategic commissioning of residential children’s home placements and help develop and test innovative approaches to more effective strategic commissioning in this sector. The separate final report and recommendations presents key findings from this evidence base and our recommendations, based on our own analysis and the input of the ten local authorities who participated in the research. We recommend you use this interim report flexibly.

We focused on three particular stages of commissioning: needs analysis; matching needs with supply; quality assurance and monitoring. In phase one (December 2012 - April 2013) the undertook scoping interviews with national experts, a review of published evidence, 86 individual interviews across 10 local authority sites and an online consultation with children and young people in care and care leavers which got 93 responses. The evidence gathered is summarised in this interim report. In phase two (May-June 2013) we delivered facilitated action learning groups (10 participating local authorities, working in three cohorts).