Projects and roles
Here are a selection of projects and roles that demonstrate my skills and experience in the children, young people and families’ workforce:
Review for the Children’s Commissioner
In May 2015, Indigo Children’s Services CIC was commissioned to undertake an independent review of the Advice, Assistance and Representation service provided by the Children’s Commissioner. The service supports children and young people living away from home or receiving social care and has been delivered by the Children’s Commissioner since 2014.
The review was conducted by Dr Kaz Stuart and explored: how well known the service is now and how it might be advertised in the future; how effectively the service is provided; how data are collected; and how networks and partnerships could be used to strengthen the service. We gathered the views of 30 children and young people living away from home, some of whom had used the service and others who had not. We also interviewed 30 senior staff from five varied local authorities across England.
The Children’s Society Practice Improvement Team Development 2015
The Children’s Society wanted a training programme for their new Practice Improvement Partner Team. I designed and delivered a 14 day development programme for this newly established team. The programme covered leadership and management, quality assurance, improvement tools, Lean Six Sigma change management, managing relationships, adult learning, coaching and mentoring and action learning sets. It culminated in an ILM level 5 diploma in leadership and management involving eight modules. I was commissioned to deliver this programme for Indigo. Read some of the comments in the testimonials section.
Brathay Trust Senior Leadership Programme Design 2015
Brathay Trust wanted a new research informed programme for senior leaders. I was commissioned as a leadership consultant to design and resource a Resilient Leadership Programme. This is now fully resourced and ready for its first customers!
Inspira Research to Inform Funding Bid 2015
Inspira were writing a bid for funds for a new employability programme. They wanted some primary and secondary research to support their application. I designed and conducted research to inform an evidence based tender to the Big Lottery for a developing project. This involved researching the local and national context of the project, talking to prospective users and past uses to underpin its theory of change with robust evidence.
Hertsmere Leisure Children’s Centre Staff Away Day 2015
Hertsmere Leisure run an annual Staff Away Day for their leaders of Children’s Centres. They wanted this years day to focus on system leadership and to be fun and inspiring. I designed and delivered an inspiring one day staff development day for 60 staff from children’s centres owned by Hertsmere Leisure. I delivered the day for Indigo. The collated evaluation forms show that the day was highly successful. You can see the evaluation here.
SAGE publishing book: Evaluation of Projects with Young People: Creative Research Methods 2015
I am the lead author of a co-authored book guiding practitioners, managers and leaders across a range of disciplines in the evaluation of youth projects. Out now, you can buy it here.
System Leadership for Heads of Children’s Centres 2014
Hertfordshire wanted a dynamic fourteen day leadership programme for heads of children’s centres designing, delivering and accrediting. I ran a needs analysis, then designed, delivered and evaluated a ‘system leadership’ programme for the 24 heads of children’s centres. The work was delivered for Indigo to a contract with Herts for Learning. The feedback from the heads was overwhelmingly positive, and the evaluations showed that the already highly skilled group made a 12% improvement as a result of the 10 day programme. Read the programme evaluation here.
Public Consultation 2014
Trafford Council wanted an independent provider to run its budget consultations for cuts to Adult Social Care and Children’s Services. At Indigo Children’s Services I planned, delivered and reported on this public consultation exercise. The report was published on the council website without amendment. Feedback was that I was very professional in my conduct of this demanding contract.
Youth Work Evidence Group 2013 – 2015
At Brathay I established a national peer support group, called the Youth Work Evidence Group to improve the quality of impact evidence for youth work. This led to Brathay receiving a grant of £10,000 from the Cabinet Office to contribute to their National Centre for Youth Evidence as one of three Early Adopters. I am currently contracted by Brathay to deliver this project.
Interim Workforce Development Leader
In 2012 I was the interim workforce development leader in Cumbria County Council’s Workforce Development Group. In this role I developed integrated working and leadership capacity across the county.
Head teacher of Radical Services
I was the head teacher of a small private secondary school for young people with severe emotional and behavioural difficulties who were living in residential care in Cumbria. I led the school to DfE registration whilst maintaining a youth centric environment that engaged the pupils.