February 2024

Families First News

The latest news

Great News on Supporting Families Earned Autonomy

Great news – we are pleased to announce that Hertfordshire has been awarded Earned Autonomy status and is now part of only 14% local authorities in England who have successfully gone through this process.  

The current arrangements for Supporting Families funding is an upfront grant received in April and then further funding received quarterly based on successful outcomes for families we have supported (you may know this as payment by results).  

The process to achieve Earned Autonomy status started with a partnership self-assessment followed by a visit to Hertfordshire in October from a number of central government department lead advisors where we had the opportunity to demonstrate our strong partnership commitment, data arrangements, and outcomes achieved for children, young people and families.  

We have recently received notification that we were successful in achieving Earned Autonomy status. The benefits to Hertfordshire for achieving this status are:

  • having a national profile owing to the recognition that we have achieved a high standard of maturity for our early help partnership.
  • being one of a small number of areas that will have more of a say in guiding future national policy and in showcasing our approach as best practice.
  • receiving all our allocated funding upfront; whilst this is not additional money this will help improve our ability to plan for the next 12 months.

This achievement would not have happened without the fantastic commitment and motivation from professionals at all levels across Hertfordshire County Council Children’s Services and from all the partners we work with (including frontline, operational and strategic).   

We recognise that on the frontline across the partnership, you are all under immense pressure to support families in the best way you can and the evidence and paperwork you have provided regarding achieved outcomes with families has been pivotal in this success. This status recognises your help, contribution, and on-going support.  

We are all aware of the current financial outlook and whilst Earned Autonomy does ensure an agreed amount of funding for the supporting families agenda, we still need to contribute to the councils ongoing financial situation.  Receiving the grant at the start of the financial year will, however, provide us with the opportunity to plan for current and changing demands in an innovative and efficient way. 

For more information on the Supporting Families, please visit Supporting Families - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)




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