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Child safeguarding services intervene when a child is at risk of serious emotional or physical harm. Oxfordshire County Council is implementing a new approach to child safeguarding (Family Solutions Plus [FSP]) with a greater focus on whole family support and reducing the need for foster care. We sampled two cohorts of children closed within 1 year and examined the time spent in services. The sample included 474 children entering services before the new model's implementation and 561 children after. A greater proportion of children receiving FSP required a single care plan before their case was closed (85.9%; 69.4%, p < 0.001) and only experienced the lowest level plan (74.5%; 61.8%, p < 0.001). On average, this group spent less time in services for the period being observed (MD = 17.58, 95% confidence interval = 6.19, 28.96). At this early stage, no significant reduction in the number of children requiring foster care was seen (5.5%; 3.9%, p = 0.23). These initial findings suggest a potential association of FSP with a reduced number and level of care plans as well as length of time. Local authorities in England may investigate further whether FSP is a potentially useful model in improving safeguarding services.

Original publication




Journal article


Child and Family Social Work

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