Northamptonshire County Council has been shortlisted for three prestigious national awards in recognition of its drive to transform public services, its high-quality children’s homes and its work to recruit foster carers.
The council’s Next Generation Council model has been chosen as finalist in the Most Innovative Service Delivery Model category of the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards, and its work with care leavers through its residential homes has been shortlisted in the children’s services category.
The Grow Together, Foster A Child marketing campaign to recruit new foster carers has also been shortlisted for the Campaign of the Year award.
The LGC Awards recognise celebrate and reward the innovation and hard work of local authorities across the country.
Northamptonshire County Council leader Cllr Heather Smith said: “To be shortlisted for three LGC Awards is an incredible achievement and is testament to the fantastic hard work of staff across the organisation.
“To be shortlisted for our Next Generation Council model shows that our ambition to transform the way outcomes are delivered is being held up as an example of good practice, while I’m particularly pleased that our hard-working staff in children’s services have been recognised.
“As one of our key council priorities, I’m also delighted that our work to recruit new foster carers using research on what motivates people to foster a child has been chosen as a very worthy finalist.”
The council’s Next Generation Council model involves a small retained organisation called NCC Group commissioning safeguarding and wellbeing services through a federation of standalone social enterprises, businesses and partnerships.
First for Wellbeing was launched in April to deliver wellbeing services, while plans for a children’s trust and an adult social services organisation are already underway, building on the success of the council-owned care provider Olympus Care Services.
The council’s children’s residential homes, all of which are rated as good or outstanding by Ofsted, have been shortlisted in recognition of their work to help young people move back into the community, back home or into independence using a range of family intervention techniques and support services.
The Grow Together, Foster A Child campaign was based on research which shows foster carers are motivated not by financial gain but by the opportunity to make a difference to a child’s life.
The campaign, which won a UK Public Sector Communications Award earlier in the year, saw a 36.6% increase in the number of enquiries from prospective foster carers compared with the same period last year.
Staff from the county council will now have to give a presentation for each shortlisted entry to a panel of judges early next year to progress to the next round, The award winners will be announced in March.