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Investing in in-house children’s Residential Homes


The independent review of children’s social care (MacAlister, 2022) which sought to comprehensively understand the needs, experiences and outcomes of children supported by social care highlighted they need for the UK to fix the broken care market, alongside a number of other key recommendations,

As a response to this review, the Department of Education has published a draft strategy for a Children’s Social Care Reform, entitled Stable Homes, Built on Love: Implementation Strategy and Consultation. This outlined six pillars to reform children social care, including:

Putting love, relationships and a stable home at the heart of being a child in care

This pillar recognises that when care is the best choice for a child, it is critical the care system provides stable, loving homes, that are close to the children’s communities. Too often are we seeing children living far away from where they would call home, or in the wrong type of home for what they need.

Whilst work is being done across the UK to work collaboratively with local care markets to increase the availability of local placements and ensure provision is available that better meets the needs of children and young people, other areas are exploring alternative options to commissioning residential care – namely the re-investment in internal or in-house residential provision, with the effective delivery of education and therapeutic interventions.

Effective commissioning and planning, i.e., understanding local demand and needs on services and the current market landscape, supports regions across the country to consider this as a potential option. Such planning can allow commissioners and decision makers to answer the following questions:

  • Can in-house provision support with the growing demand on residential care, ensuring children are living in stable homes in the right place, delivering the right level of support?
  • Can we effectively work in partnership and collaboration with our local health and education colleagues to better meet the needs of local children?
  • Will internal children’s homes provide value for money for Councils?

The Webinar

We will be joined by two local authorities – Somerset Council and Oxfordshire County Council – who are investing in internal residential children provision for their regions. At differing stages of their journeys, these colleagues will share with attendees their rationale for investment in in-house children’s homes, what they have achieved so far, and any challenges or lessons learned along the way to share with colleagues.

There will be two presentations with ample opportunity for questions, as well as the opportunity to discuss your reflections, experiences and advice on investing in internal children residential homes with other colleagues on the call.


We welcome attendance and participation from our Academic Partnership members and our commissioning alumni network who have an interest in addressing challenges in the children residential care market.


  • Introduction and purpose of the webinar
  • National picture – How well are we currently meeting the demand and needs of children in care?
  • Presentation from Oxfordshire County Council – Caroline Kelly and Claire Lewis
  • Presentation from Somerset Council – Julie Breeze and Daniel Moncrieff
  • Group Discussions – Sharing reflections, experiences and advice

Workshop Format

The workshop will be delivered online and will feature a blend of presentations and smaller group discussions to enable participation by all delegates.


Wednesday 28th February 2024


Microsoft Teams


This free and exclusive event is offered to the Academic Partners of IPC and the Alumni of the IPC Certificate in Commissioning and Purchasing for Public Care.

Invitations will be sent to Academic Partners directly, and Alumni members can register their place at the webinar via the IPC Alumni Online Forum.