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Case study: Southwark Leaving Care Service

Updated: Apr 15

Project: The future delivery model for Southwark Leaving Care Service


Client: Southwark Council


Date: August 2019 – November 2019


Challenges faced by the client: The key priority for the Southwark Leaving Care service is to improve outcomes for care leavers and ensure they receive support that best responds to their needs. The Council is committed to exploring new ways of working and innovation to respond to changing needs of young people.


It asked for an independent external review to support their exploration of the range of delivery models available for future service delivery. The main objective was to identify a preferred service delivery model for Southwark Leaving Care service by carrying out a structured Options Appraisal process.



Support offered: MV conducted a comparative analysis of the potential delivery models for Southwark Leaving Care service. This included exploration of the key benefits and challenges of these models in the Southwark context. The Options Appraisal was designed to take account of the priorities of the Council in a clear and transparent way.


It drew on research into alternative models for care leaver services elsewhere in the UK, which has been summarised in the case studies presented in the report. It was also supported by in-depth analysis of outstanding in-house care leavers services.


This allowed to identify common success factors and characteristics that should be at the heart of the new delivery model for Southwark.


Outcome achieved: The Options Appraisal identified an in-house delivery by Southwark Council as the preferred service configuration for the Leaving Care service in Southwark.


It is the only delivery model option that can guarantee both good strategic and cultural fit between the service and the Council. It allows the Council to explore new ways to improve the service, but without some of the risks and costs of designing and implementing new delivery vehicles. This avoids risking the loss of momentum and the erosion of confidence of both staff and service users.


The case for in-house service delivery is supported by high financial viability in comparison to the other analysed options. The in-house delivery model with a positive net financial impact over a five-year period.


To maximise the potential of the service, the Council should consider establishing a small care leavers charity with fundraising functions and partnership arrangements with wider sector stakeholders in the Borough.