Southampton City Council

Children and Families Service

Southampton City Council’s (SCC) Referral and Assessments service was struggling due to a spike in referrals and made an internal decision that they needed to increase workforce capacity and reduce social worker caseloads. 

The council commissioned Xyla Health and social care (formerly ICS Assessment Services) to provide an outsourced assessment service over a 12-week period. Throughout the project, Xyla agreed to manage up to 294 cases at any one time. 

How we helped 

SCC contracted Xyla Health and social care to deliver extra capacity within the duty and assessment functions across the city, whilst they developed and implemented a comprehensive recruitment and retention strategy, addressed practice issues and looked to imbed a new practice model. 

With short notice, we rapidly mobilised two teams comprising of one team manager, seven social workers and a project co-ordinator. The teams were tasked with delivering extra capacity by working cases that had been progressed to referral point by the MASH team. The teams worked cases to the agreed transfer points, ensuring consistent quality and timeliness in the outcomes for the children and their families. 

Our dedicated Head of Service, along with the team managers and project co-ordinators, attended regular ‘Risks and Issues’ and ‘Keep in Touch’ meetings with key stakeholders and provided SCC with regular reporting, including a visual tracking of KPI’s, to ensure that SCC were up to date with the management of cases and the productivity of our teams. 

Within a 12-week period we: 

  • Supported 365 children 
  • Closed 50% of all cases 
  • Averaged a case turnover of 7.1 weeks 
  • Averaged a CIN case turnover of 7.4 weeks 
  • Made over 950 visits to families 

Our managed service provided the necessary relief required within the Referral and Assessments Service in Southampton, allowing them to focus their resources on internal transformation plans. 

In addition to this, it was noted during an Ofsted visit that our teams had contributed to an improvement in performance across the service. 

Download the report

You can download the Southampton City Council – Xyla Health & Social Services’ report, composed based on an independent consultant’s observations.

Download report here