Commissioning of children's social care and wellbeing services

To make sure that the right services are commissioned we work with a wide range of service users, teams, organisations and voluntary, community and faith sectors. Working in partnership, we look to see what services are needed, where there may be room for improvements, the gaps that exist and the resources available. All this contributes towards us commissioning services for children and young people in Surrey.

Examples of services we are working on commissioning at the moment include:

Early help

The early help strategy 2013-17 (PDF) outlines a partnership commitment to deliver early help and timely intervention to children, young people and their families in Surrey based on evidence of need and best practice.

Early help services work with a wide range of children, young people and families. "Early help means providing support as soon as a problem emerges, at any point in a child's life, from the foundation years through to the teenage years. Providing early help is more effective in promoting the welfare of children than reacting later." (Working Together, 2013)

Our vision for early help services in Surrey: "Everyone works together to offer early help and timely intervention to support the resilience and wellbeing of children, young people, families and communities promoting wellbeing and positive life opportunities." (Surrey Early Help Partnership Reference Group, June 2013)

We understand the importance of early help and are committed to providing and delivering high-quality services to Surrey's children and families. In Surrey we want to develop an approach to early help which improves outcomes for children and young people, prevents harm and reduces their need for intensive, acute or specialist support.

We recognise the importance and impact of intervening early to achieve positive outcomes for children and young people (the rising demand for specialist support for children and young people) in the light of continued pressure on public sector budgets and spend.

Emotional health and wellbeing

We feel a partnership approach between local statutory agencies, children and young people, families and carers, schools, the third sector and communities, will achieve change in reducing the impact of poor mental health and unlock the benefits of improved wellbeing and mental health for children and young people in Surrey.

Within Surrey, mental health is understood in the broad context of wellbeing including services that promote emotional wellbeing, and is one of the five shared priorities for Surrey's Health and Wellbeing Board. Joint commissioning arrangements are in place between Surrey County Council and Surrey's six clinical commissioning groups.

In Surrey we have a vision – to develop a culture of emotional wellbeing and mental health support for children and families that is based on strengthening early intervention, prevention and building resilience. We will listen to and work in partnership with our community to give children and young people the best start in life.

Joint commissioning priorities, intentions and delivery form part of the recently published Joint Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH) Strategy entitled 'A thriving community of children and young people in Surrey: A strategy for their emotional wellbeing and mental health 2019 – 2022'.

Full details of the transformational work being undertaken for the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in Surrey, including a copy of our Strategy, can be found on the Guildford and Waverley Clinical Commissioning Group website.

Joint commissioning priorities, intentions and delivery will form part of the Joint Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health (EWMH)Strategy.

Looked after children

The Surrey looked after children commissioning strategy 2013 – 2015 (PDF) outlines what we know and continue to learn about the needs of our looked after children. It describes what we do and intend to do to support them through our strategic commissioning intentions. Further information can be found in the looked after children equality impact assessment 2013-15 (PDF). It has been designed as a link to the priorities contained within the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy 2014/15 and the Surrey Corporate Parenting Strategy 2012.

Surrey is committed to the commissioning of targeted, high quality services for all its residents. We recognise that looked after children and those leaving care are amongst the most vulnerable within our society and aim to ensure that for those children and young people, their life experiences and chances are enhanced by our care and support.

For those young people leaving care Staying Put is an option for consideration that is proven to have good outcomes for young people.

Read the policy and guidance on Staying Put for looked after children with former foster-carers (PDF).

Children and young people with disabilities

The Surrey Children and Young People with Disabilities Commissioning Strategy 2014 – 2015 sets out the key drivers for children and young people with disabilities and their families. It states the current picture of support and where the gaps are in services for Children with Disabilities and their families. The aim of the strategy is to help to remove barriers that restrict life choices for disabled children and young people, building resilience of families and allowing children and young people to meet their full potential in all areas of their lives.

To enable children and young people with disabilities to reach their full potential, they and their families need seamless support from health, education, social care and the voluntary sector at the appropriate stages of their lives. Current financial pressures and new national policies call for a more integrated, joint agency approach to ensure the best use of resources in commissioning.

Key documents


For further information on commissioning please email:

Files available to download