The Cost Calculator for Children’s Services (CCfCS) is a Microsoft Access computer application designed by Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR) to help local authorities cost the services and placements provided to looked after children. The CCfCS uses the unit costs of social work activities as the basis for building up the costs over time of placements and part placements. The calculations take into account diversity in children's needs, placement type and local authority procedures. The use of a common approach to calculate unit costs introduces greater transparency into cost estimations, making comparisons easier.
The Centre for Child and Family Research (CCFR), at Loughborough University has been commissioned by the Scottish Government to adapt the CCfCS for use in Scotland.
The aims of the research are:
- to map the range of case management and support activities provided to children looked after;
- to calculate customised unit costs for children looked after;
- to develop the CCfCS to include these unit costs for use in Scotland, and explore how these might relate to outcomes;
- to test out the functionality of the Scottish CCfCS and assess the availability of data items, and;
- to work with senior managers who will advise on the types of reports to be generated by the CCfCS and consider their potential use within the agencies.
CCFR have been working with two Scottish councils to develop the Cost Calculator which will be available for use by all Scottish councils.
Further detail about the launch and training opportunities will be available over the coming months.