Our story

Northamptonshire is a county with a strong track record in delivering improvements in children’s social services. This year Ofsted said the county had improved across all areas of children’s services and lifted us out of an ‘Inadequate’ rating and into ‘Requires Improvement.’

We are now determined to bring the same energy, fresh approach and innovative thinking, which has already delivered significant improvement, to achieve a ‘Good’ rating which we know is in our grasp.

We firmly believe that to take our services to the next level we need to create a new Children’s Trust which will have the freedoms and flexibility to do things differently and drive forward best practice. We want to remove bureaucracy and free up more time to be spent with children and families.

The Trust will help us become more innovative and be more intuitive in understanding and responding to the voice of the child.

This is the time to join us. Together we will become the best.

​“Great news for Northamptonshire County Council. I have been very impressed with the political and senior dedication to supporting social work practice.”

Isabelle Trowler, Chief Social Worker for Children and Families

Strengthening practice

​In Northamptonshire Children’s Social Care Services we are working towards a culture:

  • That places the child’s needs at the centre and evidences this in practice/language/decision making and best interest outcomes;
  • Where practitioners and managers are empowered and supported to make good professional decisions based on up-to-date research and social work methodology in the management of risk and improvement in the outcomes for the children and families with whom we work.
  • Where practitioners and managers are aware of, and take individual responsibility for working within statutory guidance and frameworks in order that children and families services are delivered legally and with compliance.

We believe in giving support to children and young people at the right levels and ensuring their voices are heard.  We are committed to improving the outcomes for children and young people in Northamptonshire and striving for excellence across our service.


​“You will, I am sure, be proud of the achievements noted by Ofsted.”
Edward Timpson, Minister for Children

​Six standards

Chronologies and genograms - In place at point of transfer

Case summaries - Show clear impact

Statutory visits - Voice of child, child seen

SMART plans - Actions clearly address risk/need

Supervision - Regular, challenging, supportive

Use of tools - For example, CSE, DV, 3 Houses, scaling or neglect

Have a peek at some of the exciting work we’re involved in:

Research in Practice (RIP) is an organisation dedicated to supporting evidence-informed practice with children and families. Through RIP, practitioners can access a wide variety of publications, resources and learning opportunities (both online and face to face). RIP enables our practitioners to strengthen their assessments as we continue on our improvement journey. Everyone who works within our children’s services teams have access to a free subscription to Research in Practice.

Here’s what one of our champions had to say about using RIP, “I use Research in Practice to compliment my practice. It makes me reflect on my cases and also highlights things I have not thought of. It is of course useful to evidence an analysis, but better used as evidence to form the analysis rather than the other way around.”

RISE is Northamptonshire’s dedicated multi agency team tackling Child Sexual Exploitation and missing children and young people.. It comprises staff from Safeguarding and Children’s Services, Police, CAN (3rd sector drug, alcohol and homeless service), and Health. The team are co-located at Mereway, Northamptonshire’s Police Force Headquarters.

Safeguarding and Children’s Services and CAN engagement workers work with young people open to the service.  The Service also works with children and young people who go missing and 4 co-located Family Support Workers complete independent return home interviews following missing / found episodes. All are overseen by 2 Practice Managers and a team manager, who are qualified social workers.

Health provide a specialist nurse to RISE. She undertakes direct work with the young people open to the service as well as promoting CSE and acting as point of contact to other health professionals in the county..

Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) is an evidence based intervention for young people (11-17) who are on the edge of care or custody due to their behaviour.  Typically aggression, problems with school attendance and or behaviour, drug or alcohol use and issues with criminal or anti-social behaviour. 

We take a systemic view of the difficulties working primarily with the parent and to a lesser extent the your person, working closely with schools, community organisations and other people involved with the family.  We work for 3-5 months, 2-3 sessions a weeks and provide 24/7 on call while we work with the family. 

We draw on cognitive behaviour therapy, behavioural interventions and elements of family therapy to achieve sustainable outcomes for families.

Safe Families for Children (SFFC)is a volunteer organisation that gives help to families in crisis by providing safe short-term hosting for children and befriending support to parents/carers and/or children. Northamptonshire County Council (linked in with the East Midlands regional  programme)  are working with SFFC on the pilot project establishing this provision within the county.

The families that might benefit from SFFC are considered on a case by case basis as appropriate to their needs. 

​The University of Northampton has been offering social work education for a significant period of time. It currently offers both an undergraduate and post graduate Social Work degrees. It also offers modules for qualified social workers (including Practice Education) which can be used towards a Masters programme qualification.

The education is provided by qualified and registered social workers, who are experienced practitioners and managers, published academics and researchers. The University of Northampton is moving in 2018 to a new state of the art,  innovative and purpose built Waterside campus in the centre of Northampton.

For more information please visit The University of Northampton's website.

​The Family Nurse Partnership (FNP) programme is underpinned by an internationally recognised robust evidence base, which shows it can improve health, social and educational outcomes in the short, medium and long term, while also providing positive economic returns.

The FNP is a voluntary home visiting programme for first time young mothers, aged 19 years or under. A specially trained family nurse visits the young mother regularly, from the early stages of pregnancy until their child is two.

The FNP programme aims to enable young mothers to:

  • Have a healthy pregnancy
  • Improve their child’s health and development
  • Plan their own futures and achieve their aspirations

To find out more information visit the Family Nurse Partnership website.