Case studies

Social care revolution

Delivering the Department for Education’s Social Care Innovation Programme

Project overview

In 2014, the DfE invested £100m to stimulate innovation in the delivery and structure of children’s social care, focused on achieving better outcomes in child protection and for adolescents in or on the edge of care. The DfE selected Deloitte as delivery partner for its experience in combining deep knowledge in social care with professional advisory support, innovation and change expertise.

Deloitte’s has played a critical role in the success of the DfE’s Innovation Programme, designing and implementing an application and assessment process that ensures that the best ideas are selected and supported to transform the way children’s services are delivered sustainably and at scale. In a significant move away from the traditional grant-funding model, we focused instead on investment funding. This was the first time the DfE had adopted such an approach and, in doing so, it has created a blueprint that is now being replicated across government. Deloitte also supported applicants to develop ambitious proposals for investment funding and continues to provide coaching support to each applicant as they implement their ideas. Deloitte runs the project management office, and is delivering a learning programme to share insights across the sector.

The programme received almost 300 applications and is now working with a final portfolio of 53 selected projects with an estimated projected saving to the public purse of £134m p.a. The projects are delivering extensive value to the social care system and across the public sector. 

“Deloitte was the delivery partner for our £100m innovation programme, working alongside Innovation Unit and Mutual Ventures. They were fundamental to the widely acknowledged success of the programme, providing expert insight and advice on how to implement a large-scale, high profile change programme in exceptionally tight timescales. The team worked tirelessly to design and deliver a fair and robust application and selection process; they created a bespoke approach to managing the portfolio so that the funding had the greatest impact and reach; and they delivered public events, as part of the learning programme, led by the minister and chief social worker that played a key role in communicating our vision for innovation in the sector. Deloitte challenged our thinking and raised the bar for our ambition of innovation in the sector, leading to improved outcomes for children and young people – evidence shows that we are already starting to see this investment make a huge difference in the lives of children and their families.”


Almudena Lara, Head of Children’s Social Care Reform and Innovation

This project has been ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘Change Management in the Public Sector’ category of the Management Consultancies Association’s 2016 Awards.

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