Children’s Services:  Block Contract Reviews

Commissioners purchasing children’s services must be able to demonstrate, under scrutiny that the amount paid to the provider is viable enabling them to deliver the correct level of service and be rewarded with a good level of return.

Valuing Care’s cost modelling service provides an independent review of fees within a locality, giving consideration to the types and levels of care provided, to produce a sustainable and evidence based set of rates that can be used by commissioners to set the Usual Price (UP) for children’s services.

Valuing Care can either complete the entire process on your behalf, or if you prefer to undertake it yourselves, we are able to provide independent verification.


Focus on: Buckinghamshire County Council

Valuing Care was awarded a contract to calculate unit costs for Buckinghamshire County Council’s in-house foster care service, to benchmark these services against the cost of services provided by Independent Foster Agencies, and to make an assessment of value for money.

This project required Valuing Care to work closely with the Council’s operational management to understand the varying level of resource input into short-term, long-term, family and friends, and special needs placements.

The intelligence gained enabled the cost of team budget to be apportioned between function, and the calculation of unit costs for each type of service. A comparison of unit costs for the in-house service against Valuing Care’s cost model for IFA services highlighted areas of variance in both service levels and cost efficiency; key to informing future service strategy and outsourcing decisions.

Key benefits:
• Calculation of actual unit costs covering different types of foster care placements.
• Greater understanding of differences in service levels and cost efficiency.
• Increased intelligence to inform service strategy and outsourcing decisions.