London Ventures Targeted Ventures blog: Final Children and Families Challenge Panel
‘A serendipitous confluence of creativity and innovation’ – Mark Baigent (Interim Divisional Director Housing and Regeneration, London Borough of Tower Hamlets).
On 25 January 2019 we held our final children and families challenge panel, which completed a sequence of five panel sessions held since May 2018. But what is a challenge panel? How have they been integral to developing innovative solutions to support children and families? What have we learnt from our challenge panel journey?
Our challenge panel consists of 17 strategic subject matter experts from local authorities and charities, to policy organisations and innovative thinkers. We brought together this coalition of experts to provide insights, challenge and critical thinking to refine and design innovative solutions to support vulnerable children and families across London to recognise that perpetuating the same style of working will not deliver the level of change required.
The challenge panel sessions have been fundamental to helping us:
- understand the latest thinking, research and knowledge on the key issues facing children and families
- identify key themes to reflect the inter-relationship between many of the problem areas across children’s services and to approach the issues horizontally (cross-cutting) rather than vertically (service silos)
- generate initial concept ideas for consideration;
- test and refine our long list of 40+ solutions gathered through extensive sector engagement and a series of cross-sector events, including with 30 young people; and
- evolve our six solutions and think about key considerations for outline business case development.
Over a period of nine months, our Challenge Panel journey has developed and reinforced our shared understanding of how to tackle the problems faced by children and families in London. Our focussed discussions included areas such as looked after children, care leavers and early help to name just three. Each structured session has been invaluable in integrating more detailed insight into our evolved solution designs.
The perspectives shared across all sessions by our coalition of experts have been instrumental in developing viable concepts that we are now taking forward for further work, including identifying organisations and potential funding routes to support the concepts come to life before presenting the outline business case for each solution to our Capital Ambition Board in May 2019.
If you would like to understand more about the solutions we are developing and how they could benefit your borough, please do get in touch. We are seeking ‘solution champions’ to sponsor the piloting of these solutions so please do contact us if you are interested:
Thomas Man, Head of Capital Ambition ([email protected])