Right Balance/ Phase 3 March 2021
From September 2017 to December 2019 a Department for Education innovation fund project named ‘The Right Balance for Families’ was delivered by Camden Council in partnership with Catch 22, The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust and local education providers. The project sought to design and test a system of intensive targeted support to a selected cohort of young people open to Camden Children's Safeguarding and Social Work (CSSW).
The DfE extended the funding for a further year ( 2020-21 ) known as Phase 3, which is based on the learning about what worked from The Right Balance for Families project which will be embedded across all CIN services as integral part of the overall Camden Model of Social Work.
Working closely with the DfE the work will continue to feedback on the progress of the Phase 3 approach and its impact on children and their families by gathering and analysing both qualitative and quantitative data from a variety of sources. The aim is to ascertain whether the approach continues to be effective and identify the elements that may be driving this, building on the findings from the DfE evaluation (June 2020) and our own internal evaluation of the project from 2017-2019. The 201 children and their families whom were formally part of the Right Balance evaluation will be continually tracked (2017-2019). The cohort has been extended up to an additional 50 children.
This is a relatively new approach to finding lasting connections for children in care for whom there is no plan for them to live within their family or be adopted. Camden is one of 7 local authority partners who were fully funded to implement Lifelong Links over a 3year span.
Lifelong Links is designed for young people in care aiming to reconnect with family members, former foster carers, teachers and other people who are important to them, with a view of bringing them together and holding an FGC, where they can discuss that support they are able to offer. Some connections might offer a greetings card once a year or a Facebook friendship, while some might be keen for regular meet ups and involvement such as attending sports events. The ambition of Lifelong Links is that children in care stay connected and get the help they need to safely develop relationships which will last them a lifetime.