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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council is looking to identify a suitable organisation with which to form a Strategic Partnership which will focus on and deliver a range of family support services to support children, young people and families across the Borough.

Stockton Borough Council Children’s Services are currently undergoing a significant transformation including reviewing the way we provide services to children, young people and their families. The Children and Young People’s Strategy for Stockton-on-Tees (2019-2023) is closely aligned to the Health and Wellbeing Strategy and sets out a vision for a shift in focus towards prevention and outlines how partners work across the Borough and how they will work together to improve outcomes for children, young people and families. Four key priorities are identified to build the foundations which will enable children and young people to flourish:

  • Resilience – a sense of self and life skills, the ability to control and self-regulate, think and deal with setbacks
  • Relationships – safe, supportive, trusted relationships are the single biggest factor in overcoming hardship
  • Respect – respecting and valuing children and young people in a strengths based approach
  • Response – targeting vulnerability, adversity and stress.

As part of our transformation programme, Stockton Borough Council would like to work in partnership with an organisation to contribute to the delivery of effective family support across the Borough.

In order to achieve a transformational model of delivery, the Council will benefit from a Partner Organisation who is skilled and experienced in innovative models of delivery and has the ability to mobilise and transform services safely and swiftly. Using a partnership model will allow delivery which is led by data and is intelligence driven, sharing information equally and analysing it together to monitor, review and shape delivery in response to the needs identified within the local area. A Partnership will allow a more flexible approach to meeting children, young people and family’s needs across the system rather than support being offered depending on the ‘level’ of the system they are at.

The contractual model we are seeking to achieve will involve an overarching Partnership Agreement which is initially supplemented by a number of modular Service Contracts for services currently contracted to a variety of separate Service Providers. The initial combined value of the current Service Contracts is estimated at approximately £1.1m per year..

The Strategic Partnership will include services to deliver family time (family contact/supervised contact) and low-level family outreach support as well as developing and delivering a volunteering service to support children, young people and families across the Borough.

The duration of the Strategic Partnership is initially intended to be a minimum of 5 years, but this will be conditional upon the ongoing collaboration and performance achieved by the partnership arrangement and would be contractually reviewed on an ongoing basis. It is the intention that the original identified service contracts will be awarded to the successful partner organisation for the initial period of the contract and, therefore, could have a combined value estimated at £5.5m.

The Strategic Partnership will operate on an open book basis, allowing for an agreed element of profit or surplus to be added to verified expenditure. It is, therefore, essential that any potential partner accepts this transparency as a condition in the contractual agreement. The mechanics of how this will work will be negotiated in advance of the commencement of the Strategic Partnership. In addition to the service contract delivered under the Strategic Partnership, the Council would like to explore the additional resources that a partner organisation could contribute to the Partnership not limited to technical expertise, external facilities that could be utilised, external funding streams that could be accessed and other shared benefits.

Throughout the lifespan of the Partnership Agreement, additional service delivery modules may be incorporated into the Partnership Services Scope, which could be delivered either solely by the partner or jointly with the Council’s Help and Support function, on an ongoing basis. It is anticipated that this could, potentially, increase the value of the contract to £2.8m per annum. The expansion of the Partnership Services Scope will only be considered after the initial modules/elements of the Partnership are embedded.

They are welcoming prospective partners to participate in a Market Engagement event on Tuesday 17 August 2021 at 10.00am until 12.00 noon to explain further our vision for this Strategic Partnership and to explore further some aspects of the relationship and mechanics of the arrangement. We would welcome your input to how you think this relationship and contractual arrangement could be maximised and achieve its full potential and how any potential pitfalls could be avoided.

If you are interested in learning more about the Strategic Partnership and would like to offer your input to its formation, please submit your nominations to participate in the Market Engagement which will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams. Nominated email addresses for attendees should be submitted via the messaging facility of the NEPO portal and, due to annual leave, will be acknowledged from week commencing 9 August onwards.

The contact for the Market Engagement is Mike Wray, Procurement Offer, e-mail mike.wray@stockton.gov.uk.