'Inside Out' - Intensive Coaching for Children in Care

The 'Inside Out' - Intensive Coaching for Children in Care is a pilot programme that was developed and will be delivered with Essex, Hertfordshire and Norfolk County Councils.

'Inside Out' is funded through the Department for Education's Innovation Programme under its residential policy brief. 'Inside Out' will test a new approach to improving outcomes and stability for looked after children in residential care, enabling them to either 'step down' to less intensive care or return home wherever appropriate and possible. The programme is being piloted with Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council and Norfolk County Council (Year 1 in Essex only, Years 2 & 3 will expand to include Hertfordshire and Norfolk).

The 'Inside Out' programme brings three core elements together as a co-ordinated and focused support around the young person and their family.

  1. A Coach working intensively with the young person and their family;
  2. On-going Social Worker input;
  3. Input from the placement provider.

The aim of the programme is to provide an effective alternative to residential care to young people who are looked after. Our Coaches work with young people to help them improve, develop, learn new skills, find personal success, and achieve aims and to manage life change and personal challenges through the process of questioning and reflection.

Due to the intensive nature of the support each Coach holds a case load of up to 3 young people at any one time and will work with each young person and their family for up to 18 months in an intensive way.

We work alongside Kids Inspire to deliver family support and family therapy as well as youth organisations and outdoor education providers to support young people's access to positive activities and family residential sessions.

Referral criteria

In year 1 Essex Social Care are responsible for selecting the young people to be referred to the service.

The young person's lead Social Worker in each Local Authority will refer young people onto the programme and will use the following overarching criteria within their placement decision making processes to decide who will be referred to the programme:

  • The young person will be looked after.
  • The young person will be in a residential placement - although there may be a small number of exceptions where the young person is in another kind of placement, but has still had a history of placement instability.
  • The young person will have a history of placement moves and/or the current placement is at risk of breaking down.
  • The young person will be aged between 15 and 17.5 years at the start of the intervention.
  • The young person may have Special Education Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) but will have the capacity to engage with this programme.

One or more of the following behaviours/risks may also exist:

  • engagement in significant or escalating risk taking behaviour
  • missing from care or education
  • not engaged in employment, education or training
  • at risk of child sexual exploitation
  • engaged in personal substance misuse
  • involved in gangs or serious youth violence
  • not achieving goals and outcomes set out in a care plan
  • at risk of not making a successful transition to adult life

If you have any questions about the  'Inside Out' programme, please do not hesitate to contact The Children’s Society East on 01245 493311 and ask to speak to Nina Allard, Inside Out Service Manager.