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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.