The cost calculator for children’s services: extension for all children in need - mapping children in need services.
online resourceposted on 21.08.2008, 15:21 by Samantha McDermid
Background and introduction Developed as part of an ongoing research programme exploring the costs and outcomes of child welfare interventions, the cost calculator methodology is a ‘bottom up’ method for calculating the unit costs of placing and supporting looked after children. The methodology uses the unit costs of social work activities as the basis for building up the costs over time of placements and part placements. It takes into account social work activity time associated with eight processes that cover the activity to support a child. This allows a ‘true cost’ of supporting a child in their placement to be calculated as it includes the placement cost, as well as the additional cost of social worker and other social care professional time. Following the publication of Messages from Research (Department of Health 1995) and more recently, Every Child Matters (Department for Education and Skills 2004), greater impetus has been placed on the importance of developing services provided to all children in need, for achieving positive outcomes for all children. Work is currently being undertaken to extend the cost calculator methodology to include all children in need, making it possible for local authorities to cost a fuller range of services and to cost family support interventions provided under section 17 arrangements (Children Act 1989).
- Social Sciences
- Communication, Media, Social and Policy Studies
- Centre for Child and Family Research