Case studies

Case studies are drawn from across different Children’s Trusts to provide you with practical examples of how effective commissioning benefits children. The case studies reflect current good practice based on real situations and cover different service areas, geographical areas, levels of commissioning and types of problem.

Please contact us to suggest a case study for inclusion on this site.


Browse by theme

Click on one of the themes below to take you to a list of all case studies related to that theme.


Baby smiling Schools                           Nurses Child Health


Children at home CAMHS                             14-19


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You can use this discussion forum to rate and comment on documents in the resource bank as well as suggest documents to include. To do so, post a discussion with the name of the document and you can then rate and comment on it. We will review all feedback from this forum and consider whether documents should stay or be removed from the resource bank. Access the resource bank discussion forum.


All case studies:


  • Proposal to Amalgamate Longmeadow CE (Controlled) and Oakland Schools - Report on Formative Consultation (49 KB)

    On 30 January 2008, Cabinet commissioned formative (pre-statutory) consultation on the amalgamation of Longmeadow and Oakland schools. This report sets out the outcomes from the consultation, the recommendation of the Acting Corporate Director for Children and Young People’s Services and asks Members to consider whether to proceed with formal proposals.

  • Commissioning to enable children and young people with complex needs to stay in county - Somerset (63 KB)

    The Somerset Children and Young People’s Partnership (SCYPP) was established in 2005. At the heart of this commissioning process is the ‘peninsula’ approach to purchasing placements and individual packages of support. This model has been adapted for use for children with complex needs including SEN in Somerset. This ‘needs and outcomes’ tool looks at all the child’s needs and includes prompts for this information from a range of professionals.

  • Commissioning Substance Misuse and Family Support Services Case Study (Staffordshire) (665 KB)

    This case study describes how the Staffordshire Drug & Alcohol Action Team (DAAT) partnership re-commissioned their young people’s substance misuse service in 2006–07. The study focuses on how stakeholders were involved in service design and how competitive tendering was used to capture innovative working models. The scope of the new services commissioned includes Tier 2 and 3 drug and alcohol services and a countywide family support service for children and young people with an increasingly complex range of needs. The approach outlined in this case study is transferable to other targeted and specialist services.

  • Next Practice in System Leadership – Stevenage 14-19 Partnership (34 KB)

    The Stevenage Partnership is a whole town collaborative comprising all nine of the 11-19 community schools, two special schools, a Pupil Referral Unit and the local FE College. The purpose of the partnership is to make a high quality 14-19 entitlement a reality for all Stevenage's young people, and so significantly increase participation and achievement levels.

  • Stoke Damererl Primary school: LA statement of action (115 KB)

    Stoke Damerel Primary School has 320 pupils on roll between the ages of 3/4 and 11 years. The number on roll has remained stable and the school is regularly over subscribed. The school is a one and a half form entry primary school serving an area of the city of Plymouth with a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds, including some wards with high levels of deprivation. Nearly three-quarters of the pupils live in Stoke Ward, with 17% from Devonport and 3.4% from St Peter, both wards with significant levels of deprivation. Mobility in Key Stage 2 has been identified by the school as an issue, possibly connected with the school’s inclusive approach, which has seen it admit pupils with challenging behavior at the request of the local authority.

  • Strategic commissioning of housing for vulnerable young people (Oxfordshire) (59 KB)

    This case study by the Commissioning Support Programme looks at improving Oxfordshire's housing provision for vulnerable young people across the Children and Social Care department. The project involved young people and service users in the commissioning process. Joint funding for services to support homeless and vulnerable young people in Oxfordshire was needed to achieve three main objectives; preventing people becoming homeless, ensuring high standard accommodation and supporting and improving value for money.

  • Sub-regional Commissioning of Foster Care Placements - South West (57 KB)

    This case study concerns commissioning of foster care placements in the South West region of England. It specifically relates to six local authorities including Gloucestershire, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset, Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. Some of the key features of this case study focus on the procurement stage of the commissioning cycle, the benefits of partnership working between different local authorities and applying a common contract (based on the Independent Fostering Agency’s (IFA) national contract) to save time and effort in implementing competitive tendering for the provision of foster placements across six local authorities. This study also looks at outcomes-based commissioning.

  • Developing a needs analysis to inform the Children and Young People’s Plan (Suffolk) (93 KB)

    This case study looks at how Suffolk Children's Trust used needs analysis to develop their Children & Young People’s Plan (CYPP). Building on the lessons they learnt from doing their first CYPP, Suffolk developed a second CYPP by using methods that involved all of the Children’s Trust's partners by using storyboards and an outcomes based accountability approach.

  • The Eastern Region Five (ER5) – Commissioning Foster Care from the Independent Sector (221 KB)

    This case study by the Commissioning Support Programme describes the approach that five local authorities from the East of England, have developed to commission placements from the independent foster care sector. The local authorities are Essex County Council, Hertfordshire County Council, Suffolk County Council, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, and Thurrock Council. They are geographically conterminous and collectively commission between 450-500 individual placements annually.

  • Co-located services toolkit: The Co-located services journey (352 KB)

    This journey map is designed to help others check their routes to understanding the processes and key elements for successfully arriving at efficient, citizen focussed, integrated local service provision.

  • Thinking families - Commissioning preventative services in Thurrock (192 KB)

    Thurrock Council had very poor preventative services and the Children’s Trust realised that improving these services would improve outcomes for children and reduce pressure on other services by preventing children from developing more complex or acute needs. To address these shortcomings Thurrock Children's Trust allocated three million pounds over three years to commission early intervention and preventative services.