Here at CELCIS the PACE is certainly gathering. We've now started delivering the Permanence and Care Excellence (PACE) programme in nine local authority areas, who are all at various points in their journey to achieving early permanence for all of their looked after children.
Having road tested this approach in two areas in 2014, we've arrived at a delivery model which we know improves children’s pathways to permanence. We understand the complex landscape of permanence but, by picking up PACE, we have supported our partners to reduce timescales for getting children to reach important milestones in their journey towards their long-term stable home.
Along the way, we've observed an acceleration in positive progress when all of the professionals involved share their knowledge, skills, motivation and determination to improve children’s journeys. Collectively, they've identified new avenues for children to travel towards their final destination. The satisfaction of arriving early resonates with all of us.
However, before embarking on a journey, there’s a level of preparation required. Starting to pick up PACE in itself does not get us to our destination. Before the journey begins, we need to know where we’re starting from, where we want to end up, and that we’re on the right track to get there.
To transport children to their destination efficiently, we need to know exactly where all of our children are. We need to understand where they are on the route map, and how and where we need to get them to. We need to know how we can get them to their final destination in the shortest possible time, without cutting corners or hitting roadworks and diversions along the way.
We have already learned that tracking children’s journey to permanence – and the milestones they reach and pass along the way – is the most important way to gauge progress.
So, we encourage all of our partners across the country to prepare to pick up the PACE. Our PACE delivery team can help support you to track the journey of the children in your care, and help you map the complex landscape which surrounds their individual pathways.
By working together, we will then all understand where we’re starting from, where we want to end up, and exactly how we’re going to get there. With a good permanence plan, we’ll avoid meandering at too slow a pace, and we’ll dodge roadblocks and diversions too. After all, getting to a final destination quickly, directly and safely has got to be the best way forward to achieve permanence for all children in care.