If you are not familiar with Quality Improvement and/or permanence, we recommend you watch these two webinars first. In PACE and Permanence, Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS discusses why finding safe, secure and stable homes for children is so important. In PACE and Quality Improvement, Kirsty Doull, Acting Permanence Lead and Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, talks us through the key points of Quality Improvement and how it was used in the PACE programme.
Using Quality Improvement
Quality Improvement methodology has been proven to enable real and positive change, and was therefore selected by the Scottish Government to be used in the PACE programme to reduce what was identified as drift and delay in permanence planning for looked after children.
The principles of Quality Improvement support multi-agency and collaborative work as these focus on leadership at all levels – from frontline practitioners to senior leaders. The methodology empowers the people who work in services to test new ways of working to address challenges in the system and to amplify positive practice. Quality Improvement also focuses on building up evidence from small scale tests of change (testing new ways of working) in a variety of settings before implementing the new way of working as daily practice. In this way, changes are only introduced once there is evidence that they are improvements.
Testing Change Ideas to Improve Permanence Timescales for Looked After Children: Experiences of the Two Week Planning Meeting
The PACE Two Week Planning Meeting report presents qualitative research undertaken in one of the Scottish local authorities involved in the PACE programme.
The research focused on the decisions, activities, and reporting that one local authority partnership undertook when testing a change idea within the PACE programme: Introducing a formal Looked After Child Review meeting at two weeks (‘Two Week Planning Meeting’).
Alongside this, the report examines the impact of that test on professionals and processes within the local authority area.
PACE: why data matters
The use of data is an integral part of Quality Improvement. It was fundamental to the success of PACE, and helped us determine whether a change is an improvement.
We need baseline data to understand how a system is currently operating; without this, we cannot set realistic improvement aims. Data is then needed to monitor progress of our improvement work over time in order to see its impact on a system. We also need data to monitor the impact of individual ‘change ideas’ (testing new ways of working). Data for improvement includes numerical data (quantitative) and feedback from the experience of testing (qualitative). Both are crucial in determining if change ideas have been successful enough to be implemented into daily practice.
PACE: understanding data
In this webinar, Carol Ann Anderson, Data Analyst at CELCIS, provides an insight into one of the key data tools used in PACE and Quality Improvement: run charts. Run charts enable us to study variation in data over time and are therefore crucial to understanding the impact of changes that have been tested. Carol Ann also shares some anonymised case studies from local authority areas involved in PACE to show how run charts have supported the PACE work.View the transcript and extra material
The power of timelines
Being able to truly understand a child’s experience and the impact of decision making on them can become lost in recording systems. This concern led CELCIS to develop a child’s timeline tool, which was tested in one local authority area and has since been adopted by a number of others.
A timeline is a one page visual illustration of a child’s journey and their experience over time. It allows us to visually ‘see’ and connect with their age and stage of development. This can be adapted to reflect whatever is most pertinent to that child – whether that be how many different carers they have had, how many times they have moved school, or any other important events in their life. It can be used with decision makers, with children themselves, their families and carers; in order to fully understand the impact events and decisions have had on child’s life.
PACE: understanding a child’s journey and keeping the child at the centre of decision making
In this webinar, Micky Anderson, Data Lead at CELCIS, and Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, discuss the timeline tool that they developed in partnership with a local authority area involved in the PACE programme. They explain why a timeline can be useful in visually explaining a child’s journey through the system, and in particular in showing how many places a child has lived. They also demonstrate how timelines can bring a child’s story to life and keep them at the centre of decision making, as well as how timelines for groups of children can provide an understanding of how systems are working.View the transcript and extra material
PACE: timelines - 'how to' guide
In this webinar, Carol Ann Anderson, Data Analyst at CELCIS, provides a practical demonstration detailing how to create your own timeline using Microsoft Excel. She explains what information you need before you start, and provides a step-by-step guide to help you create your own timeline to support decision making for children in your area.View the transcript and extra material
Using Quality Improvement: case studies
The PACE programme brought together the CELCIS team with colleagues in local authority areas, including the many partner agencies that are involved in progressing permanence plans for children.
In these webinars, we hear from colleagues in some of our PACE areas on how they used Quality Improvement to make improvements within their PACE aims, but also how they applied what they had learned from PACE about enabling change to other parts of their work to improve outcomes for children.
PACE: children who are looked after at home
In this webinar, Craig Morris, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS from 2017 - 2019, is joined by Keith Dyer, Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager at The City of Edinburgh Council. Keith and Craig discuss Edinburgh’s approach to Aim 1, focussing on children who are looked after at home.View the transcript and extra material
PACE: the legal side of permanence
Solicitors in local authority areas were key partners in PACE. In this webinar, Kirsty Doull, Acting Permanence Lead and Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, discusses the legal side of permanence planning with Heather Milne, a solicitor at West Dunbartonshire Council. They discuss the many change ideas that have been developed and tested by solicitors, and emphasise the importance of involving legal services early on in the permanence planning process.View the transcript and extra material
PACE: Dumfries and Galloway case study
An impact of PACE was that colleagues in local authority areas were able to use what they had learned from the programme to utilise Quality Improvement to effect change in other ways to improve outcomes for children. In this webinar, Jimmy Paul, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, speaks to Alison Penman and Sarah McGarva, Locality Social Work Managers at Dumfries and Galloway Council, about how they applied the Quality Improvement knowledge gained through PACE to support their ‘signs of safety’ work.View the transcript and extra material
PACE: Midlothian integrated assessment framework
In this webinar, Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant at CELCIS, is joined by colleagues from Midlothian Council to discuss one of their key innovations – an outcomes focussed assessment that followed the child throughout their permanence planning journey. Rebecca Hooton, Acting Service Manager, and Angela Lynch, Team Leader, at Midlothian Council, discuss how they developed the assessment format and how feedback from partner agencies further improved it.View the transcript and extra material
Additional resources and further reading
PACE: the first steps
Below are some additional resources to sit alongside the PACE: the first steps page.
- Permanence flowchart
- Child Protection System Map
- Throughcare and aftercare map
- Four Routes to Permanence Poster
- Children's Permanence Leaflet
- Leaflet template: what we mean by permanence
- Looked After at Home Review Cycle diagram
- Permanence Peer Review Form template, Aim 1
- Questionnaire for Reviewing a Child/Young Person’s Plan to Renew their Compulsory Supervision Order (CSO)
- 2 week child's planning meeting checklist
- Agenda for 2 week child's planning meeting
- Diagram of abbreviated permanence timescales
- Guidance document of the process for a child becoming accommodated pre the permanence review
- Guidance document showing tasks to be completed prior to permanence panel
- Looked After Child review process information leaflet for parents
- Legal advice in permanence planning
- Permanence timescales diagram
Using Quality Improvement
Below are some additional resources to sit alongside the Using Quality Improvement page.
- Forcefield Analysis template
- Driver Diagram template and IHI guidance
- Template for process mapping
- Fishbone template
- Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) template
- Self-sufficiency template
- Scottish Government 3-step improvement guide
- PACE programme change ideas: key examples
- Tried and tested 2018: Local changes that are improving children’s lives through the Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE) programme (2018)
- Beyond The Headlines: Understanding Data (2020)
- Timeline 'how to' guide
- Timeline example spreadsheet
- Timeline XY chart labeler description
- Child shadows images for use on timelines
- Timeline placement chart details
Permanence in practice
Below are some additional resources to sit alongside the Permanence in practice page.
- Concurrency: Planning for all outcomes (November 2016), Carol Wassell, Permanence Programme and Permanence and Care Team Lead, CELCIS.
- Case for Concurrency Planning (2013), Carol Wassell, Permanence Programme and Permanence and Care Team Lead, CELCIS.
- Pre-birth assessment guidance
- Pre-birth risk/needs assessment
- Pre-birth assessment tool
Voices from PACE
The videos and resources below share the voices of some of the people and organisations involved in the PACE programme.
Gathering PACE events
- Gathering PACE 2018: Resources from the 2018 Gathering PACE event.
- Gathering PACE 2017: Resources from the 2017 Gathering PACE event.
Aberdeen City Council
- Small changes reduce delay in permanence decisions by over 12 weeks (REACH magazine, 2016): Graeme Simpson, Chief Social Work Officer at Aberdeen City Council, explains how small tests of change added up to cutting three months off the time it takes to make decisions for children in their care.
- A Children's Reporter reflects on the impact of PACE (REACH magazine, 2016): Anne MacKenzie, a Children’s Reporter in Aberdeenshire, reflects on the impact of PACE on her work and that of those around her, and on the children they help.
City of Edinburgh Council
- Kinship care: a sense of belonging, a sense of security (REACH magazine, 2016): Kim Irwin, Independent Kinship Care Assessor at City of Edinburgh Council, discusses a three-month-long assessment of kinship care placements.
East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership
- Planning starts at a very early stage in East Renfrewshire (REACH magazine, 2016): Ruth Nairn, Child Protection Consultant at CELCIS, explains how planning starts at a very early stage.
- What drift and delay really means for children (REACH magazine 2016): Lisa McKenzie, East Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership discusses the improvements they made with the help of PACE.
Dumfries and Galloway Council
- Understanding children's journeys (2018): Alison Penman, Locality Social Work Manager from Dumfries and Galloway Council, explains how her team has been able to use data to help visualise a child's journey through care.
Orkney Children's Panel
- PACE is a real eye opener for Orkney Panel Member (REACH magazine, 2016): Calum Swanson, a member of the Children's Panel in Orkney, explains the difference the PACE programme has made to him and the Children's Panel in Orkney.
- Case Study: Sometimes the permanent placement is back home (REACH magazine, 2016): Cathie O'Donnell, Renfrewshire Council, explains how through the work of the PACE programme and a multi-disciplinary team, a young boy was able to return home to his family.
Shetland Islands Council
- Visualising the difference (2018): David McQueen, Team Leader, Family Placement Services at Shetland Island Council, explains how data is being used to help support decision making for children and young people in Shetland to achieve better outcomes.
- Contact with their past can give children a sense of belonging (REACH magazine, 2016): Carol Wassell, Permanence lead at CELCIS, works with local authorities and other agencies to help ensure children get good permanent placements as soon as possible.
The blog posts below share the voices of some of the people and organisations involved in the PACE programme.
- Considered but timely decision making is vital for children (November 2019): Stephen Small, Director, St Andrew’s Children’s Society.
- PACE is changing (March 2019): Carol Wassell, Permanence Programme and Permanence and Care Team Lead, CELCIS
- Information is power (September 2018): Laura Conachan, Projects Lead, Children’s Hearings Scotland.
- Infants may not be able to speak but their voice is important (October 2017): Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant, CELCIS.
- Children can easily become lost in the system, but a timeline can help you see them (February 2017): Linda Davidson, Permanence Consultant, CELCIS.
- A Passion for Permanence (November 2016): Aileen Nicol, Head of Improving Permanence and Protection, CELCIS.
- Knowing what we need to know, when we need to know it (November 2016): Diana Beveridge, Improvement Advisor, Scottish Government.
- Legal opinion: We can do our bit to cut down drift in permanence planning (November 2016): Jennifer McKearney, Principal Solicitor, Aberdeenshire Legal and Governence Department.
- Concurrency: Planning for all outcomes (November 2016): Carol Wassell, Permanence Programme and Permanence and Care Team Lead, CELCIS
- Peer support is empowering social workers in East Renfrewshire (November 2016): Lesley-Ann Stewart, Social Worker, East Renfrewshire.
- Case study: Dumfries and Galloway Council's work with PACE (November 2016): Mareen Vernon, Dumfries and Galloway council.