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Efficient Government Fund EGF)1)1)39 Grampian Child Protection

DescriptionSTATUS - UNSUCCESSFUL - To implement a system for dealing with child protection enquiries through inter agency working to negate shortcomings highlighted in recent child death enquiries.
Official Print Publication DateJanuary 2005
Website Publication DateFebruary 24, 2006


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    Stage 1 Application - Expression of Interest

    Child Protection

    Part 1 Summary Table

    Lead bidder

    Grampian Police, Queen Street, Aberdeen, AB10 1ZA.
    Named individual - Detective Superintendent Brian Yule, Tel No 01224 386072, email brian.yule@Grampian.pnn.police.uk .

    Brief description of the aims of the project

    The aims are to apply systems thinking to child protection. To then implement a system for dealing with child protection enquiries through inter agency working to negate shortcomings highlighted in recent child death enquiries and to ensure commitments given in the 'Protecting Children and Young People, Framework for Standards' are delivered upon.

    Clear description of what the EGF money would be used to buy

    The EGF money would be used initially to buy in the Vanguard methodology and to provide staff to check the capabilities/shortcomings of the current system and plan a new system. There will be implementation costs such as accommodation, staffing and information technology. Once implemented, the team will validate the results.

    Partners to the project likely to commit resources

    Grampian Police

    Aberdeen City Council Social Work Department

    Aberdeenshire Council Social Work Department

    Moray Council Social Work Department

    NHS Grampian

    Evidence that suggests approach has been deployed successfully elsewhere

    The application of systems thinking to child protection enquiries is entirely new. However, systems thinking has been successfully applied locally in the following areas.

    Housing Repairs - working with a Local Authority, the time for housing repairs reduced from an upper control limit of 202 days, with an average repair taking 46 days, to an upper control limit of 12 days, with the average repair taking 4 days.

    Payroll - errors in a payroll department have been reduced from 74% to 2%.

    Elderly Single Shared Assessment - this was a joint project between a Health Authority and a Local Council. The time taken from initial request to completed assessment reduced from an upper control limit of 220 days, with an average of 55 days, to an upper control limit of 22 days, with an average of 6 days.

    Pensions Processing Outsourcer - working with a pensions outsourcer, a number of customer measures were improved, for example, the upper control limit for issuing an early retirement pension reduced from 185 days to 20 days.

    Work has been done between Grampian Police and Vanguard in respect of Firearms Licensing and a major project is underway concerning the Courts in Aberdeen examining the time taken from the person being charged with a crime of an offence to being dealt with by the Court.

    Are there any restrictions to enlargement of the project (ie number of partners)

    Benefits projected from the project

    The long series of public enquiries regarding child deaths and the abuse of children have been expensive and stressful. They have been intelligently conducted; their analysis of practice looks accurate; and their recommendations seem sensible. Yet, they are not leading to the desired improvements in outcomes for children and families. They tend to focus on human error and shortcomings in practice and these, by and large, make up the conclusions of such a report.

    The philosophy behind systems thinking is that this is where the investigation should start not end. This requires a radically different type of research than the traditional enquiry.

    Estimated financial projections






    Overall project cost



    Estimated projected benefits

    Is a pilot required - see guidance notes

    In this case, a pilot is not required as the whole project is a fundamental review of how the child protection enquiries are dealt with across the various agencies.

    Additionally: why is eg funding required

    EGF funding is required to buy in the Vanguard services. There will also be a staff commitment from the organisations involved. This will mean that each of them has to contribute one or two staff to the project on a full time basis. The project is expected to last around 35 weeks before implementation. Given the demands on the resources of these organisations, it is essential that these posts be back filled.

    Does this project complementary in any way to other eg work

    This project does not complement any other EG work.