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


Resource bank discussion forum

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:


  • Competing Providers for School Support and Business Development - Devon, South West (516 KB)

    To provide schools in Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with details of Alternative Service Providers. Create competition between in-house and external providers. Improve internal business processes and develop the capacity of schools’ best value procurement.

  • Consulting with parents to shape schools (Brent) (30 KB)

    A consultation process withkey stakeholders including parents and carers to help shape Brent's future schools strategy.

  • Co-Production, Social Capital and Service Effectiveness (1.1 MB)

    This paper describes the concept and practice of the co-production of outcomes through exploring what co-production means, how it can be used to re-frame the way local people and whole systems of public services work together to achieve outcomes, describes its practical use in making joint commissioning more effective and explores its implications for democratic renewal.

  • Key Activities In Commissioning Social Care - Commissioning Exemplar (1.3 MB)

    This document is the product of over eighteen months work by the Care Services Improvement Partnership (CSIP) and the Institute of Public Care (IPC) working together with three local authorities in what was called the Commissioning Exemplar Project. Its aim was to explore a range of practical issues and approaches in commissioning social care, to inform the development of a set of commissioning strategies and to draw lessons from that work which could be of benefit to other organisations.

  • Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council, Services for Children and Young People - Participation Project (139 KB)

    The Participation Project, provided by the national charity Action for Children (AfC), works directly with young people as part of the Borough’s Children’s Participation Network (CPN) to deliver participation for Tameside’s CYPSP. This has ensured that children and young people are involved in the design of services in a way that meets quality standards and best practice guidelines.

  • Involving children and young people in the Children's trust board (Bedford Borough Council) (38 KB)

    This case study relates how young people are being represented on the Children’s Trust Board in Bedford and how board meetings have been changed to make them accessible for young people.

  • Improving commissioning and efficiency in fostering (125 KB)

    This case study looks at how East Riding tackled the issue of having high numbers of children in external residential foster care. Key features:How they developed a Business and Commissioning Team. Development of ‘full cost’ foster care fees, covering expenses for clothing and so on in order to reduce transaction costs. Re-negotiating placement fees based on full cost of the placement rather than annual fees. The changes have resulted in reductions in use of agency foster care, reductions in costs of foster care placement.

  • CSP E-book Chapter 3: Developing better commissioning activities (395 KB)

    This is Paper 2 from Chapter 3 of the Commissioning Support Programme E-book. This study provides commissioners with a view of the marketplace; in particular it examines the evidence contained in the audited financial statements of providers to establish whether they are robust enough to respond to, and engage with, the aspirations of commissioners.

  • Next Practice in System Leadership – Cumbria Furness (39 KB)

    Social and economic challenges have encouraged schools and colleges to build strategically on existing collaborative arrangements in order to ensure that transformation in learning also contributed significantly towards better social and economic outcomes for the communities they served.

  • Developing cluster based commissioning in schools in Darlington (130 KB)

    This is a case study by CSP that describes how Darlington encouraged schools to collaborate when commissioning goods and services to maximise the potential of their shared resources by setting up a voluntary school commissioning group.

  • Next Practice in System Leadership – Darlington Education Village (40 KB)

    Beaumont Hill was a very successful special school in Darlington catering for 225 students with autism, challenging behaviours, and severe learning difficulties. The school’s buildings had aged poorly and the school needed to move to new premises. At the same time the local authority made a commitment to inclusion and to integrating its special needs offer into mainstream education.