04 October 2016

The first steps towards creating a standalone trust to deliver children’s services in Northamptonshire will be discussed by Cabinet next week (Tuesday).

The children’s trust will deliver safeguarding and early help services to vulnerable children, young people and their families on behalf of Northamptonshire County Council, as well as education services such as school admissions.

The organisation will be owned by the county council and commissioned to deliver services on its behalf. The council will retain the statutory accountability and will ultimately remain responsible for children’s services in the county.

Business case

Next week, Cabinet will be asked to approve the outline business case for the new trust, which sets out how it will operate and function.

County council cabinet member for children’s services Cllr Matthew Golby said: “This is a key milestone in our journey to establish the children’s trust and will help both staff and the wider community to understand better how the trust will work.

“By commissioning the new trust to deliver services on our behalf, within an agreed cost, it will reduce the time and cost of external commissioning, remove duplication of management costs and enable flexibility for swift change thanks to greater structural freedoms.

“This is an exciting time for children’s services in Northamptonshire and I look forward to seeing more detailed plans for the trust over the coming months.”

Trading company

The organisation will be created as a company limited by guarantee, and there will also be a trading company to generate income by working with other sectors, including other local authorities.

A third organisation will also be established with charitable status to secure funding through grants and fundraising, and to work with voluntary and community sector partners.

County council staff will be transferred over to the new trust, which is expected to be fully established and in operation by December 2017.

A full business case will come back before Cabinet in January.