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Achieving Great Futures

Transforming outcomes for children, young people and their families across Derbyshire.

The Achieving Great Futures programme is about transforming how we support children, young people, and their families to improve outcomes, practice cultures and service delivery by looking across a wide range of areas in children's services.

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The 6 workstreams

We recognise that we need to think and do things differently, focusing on the right changes that will have the biggest impact building on all our previous positive work.

During autumn 2020, we undertook a diagnostic across children's services with a joint team from Derbyshire County Council and Newton Europe to identify significant opportunities to further improve the outcomes for children, young people and their families in Derbyshire. Together, we identified opportunities which we aim to improve outcomes for 7,000 vulnerable and disabled children and their families.

These include:

  • reducing demand and early intervention - identifying ways to intervene in a child's pathway to help reduce the need for them to come into care
  • getting the right placement for children who need care - making sure that when a child comes into care, we can offer the right service to meet their needs, including appropriate support from our foster care service
  • planning permanence outside care - understanding if children who are in care are in the most appropriate environment and assessing if they can return to live with their birth parents or wider, extended family
  • child in need plan progression - recognising if we are intervening in the most timely and effective way with children in need plans, regardless of where they live or the social worker they receive support from
  • transitions to adulthood - ensuring that the move from children's to adult services offers children with a disability the opportunity to achieve their independence and realising their aspirations
  • transport - providing the most effective services for children who need transport to school which meet the needs of parents and offer value for money

Our approach

We're now in the design phase of the programme:

  • focussed on setting up resources, governance, and structure for this full transformation programme
  • design, alongside all colleagues, solutions to the biggest challenges
  • create a prototype, trial and measure the impact, evolving the approach until it is demonstrably working

Using trials to test new approaches to work

There are 5 key activities that make up this stage:

  • trial set-up - develop a clear set of tests and changes that we think will achieve better outcomes for children and their families and that we understand practically how we are going to make these changes (capacity freed up, processes mapped, new paperwork designed)
  • trial team engagement - clearly communicate with trial teams about the programme, the workstream and what and why we want to trail with them and that they are clear on what will be happening over the coming weeks and months
  • testing new ways of working - making changes to day-to-day ways of working within teams, working supportively alongside them to make a change, understand the impact and focus on further improvements
  • key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking - understand what core aspects of our trail have driven the outcomes and how they can become embedded as the normal ways of working in our trial teams and beyond
  • defining the new ways of working and where appropriate, preparing for roll-out of the new way of working - understand what are the core aspects of the trial and how to embed the approach as the normal ways of working our trial teams and beyond

This will allow us to:

  • ensure that solutions will lead to the best outcomes for our children, young people and their families
  • gather evidence to assess whether the main issues are being successfully addressed
  • gather feedback from wider staff and stakeholder groups on the proposed new ways of working
  • ensure changes of ways of working are sustained

Once this phase has been completed, we will have developed and tested new approaches to how we work and the things we do.

This will provide the confidence that the changes we introduce will deliver the improved outcomes we are looking for, to improve the support we offer local children and their families.

Contact us

To find out more about the Achieving Great Futures programme please email

Our Achieving Great Futures heroes

This is your opportunity to put your thanks on the record to colleagues and teams who have helped to support you to deliver the Achieving Great Futures programme.

If you'd like to recognise and thank colleagues, share a few sentences and we'll include them in the next issue of the Achieving Great Futures newsletter.

Please email using the subject line 'Thank you AGF heroes'.