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Case study: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council Children's and Adults Services

Updated: Apr 27, 2021

Client: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Date: August 2018 – December 2018

Challenges faced by the client: Knowsley faced significant challenges across both Children’s and Adults services. Knowsley has the third highest concentration of deprived areas in England, with a child poverty rate of 31% (England: 19%). Collectively Knowsley schools achieve the lowest results nationally. At the same time Knowsley’s adult social care faced falling budgets, an aging population, and forecast increases in demand. Both services struggles to achieve positive outcomes for families where the ‘toxic trio’ of domestic violence, substance misuse, and mental health was present.

Support offered: We worked with the Council to identify ways that Children’s services and Adult services could work better together, improving outcomes across the population with specific focus on high needs cohorts. To do this we identified four cohorts to focus on:

  • ‚A family requiring Children’s Social Care and Adult Social Care support

  • ‚ Mental Health

  • ‚ Children Looked After (pre and post 18)

  • ‚ A family with parents requiring support for alcohol misuse

For each cohort we developed personas – short summaries which were meant to capture the general challenges which someone might be dealing with, the broader context of their life, their assets and strengths, as well as the services they were accessing them. From this we mapped their journey through services, focusing on the cases which services particularly struggled to support towards positive outcomes. For each population we identified current pain points in the way services are design and potential improvements.

Our final report conducted an Options Appraisal to assess which solution would best support adult and Children’s services to work together and improve outcomes for these cohorts.

Outcome achieved: The Council found the work particularly helpful and although they were interested in adopting the improvements identified in the work, they decided not to pursue the main recommendation in the report – the integration of Children’s and Adult social care. The project was particularly innovative as it would have represented the first true integration of Children’s and Adult social care either in house or through an Alternative Delivery Model.


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