Strategic Commissioning Intentions

In order to improve sufficiency across Greater Manchester, a Commissioning Programme has been developed with a series of projects and initiatives. Summarised below are the key cross-cutting enablers along with an outline of the high level commissioning themes. All of the commissioning activity is designed to link back against the three Sufficiency Remedies used throughout this strategy.



GM Children's Placement Sufficiency Strategy and GM Sufficiency Observatory

Launching this strategy begins to communicate our sufficiency need and vision across GM. 

Having a web-based GM Sufficiency Observatory means we are able to keep our messaging regarding Sufficiency agile, reflective and current.

It also creates a centralised contact, access and support service for sufficiency matters.

This establishes a focal point for supply side conversations with the market, which can then drive activity linked to this Sufficiency Strategy.

Building Stronger Partnerships with the Independent Sector

There is a recognition that strengthening positive, strong and enduring relationships with the Independent Sector create the best platform to influence change.

We aim to build upon the great work that is done at a local level with Providers and establish Greater Manchester as a place that providers want to develop services.

We also want to encourage Providers to support more of our children and young people in their host LA wherever possible and appropriate.

Targeted Locality Support

Work with those LAs that have a supply disequilibrium (either too little or too much) to develop a Market Reshaping Plan.

The design will ensure there is connectivity between these plans, given what one LA does with regards to their local market will have an impact on others and also will have a strong focus on partnership with the independent sector.

Alternative Commissioning Model Toolkit

Develop a toolkit for alternative commissioning models that improve access to more ring-fenced local supply – including ‘soft blocks’ , ‘relational contracting’, ‘sufficiency retainers’ and ‘market brokerage’ concepts.

This hope is that this can be co-produced alongside the independent sector.

Voice of Children and Young People

We want to establish a platform to better engage and involve children and young people in discussions regarding their local market.

Encouraging them to be central to the dialogue with Providers looking to develop services in GM and amplifying their voice when it comes to building a sufficient
market for the future.

Develop Placement Finding (Brokerage)

Support the ongoing work following a GM review of Brokerage including exploring opportunities for cluster based working.

One key enabler will be improving the visibility of vacancies within the market. This is critical to improving timely access to local placements.

Also build Community of Practice for Placement Teams across GM.


Commissioning Intentions

We have distilled sufficiency activity into two key themes. By launching/further developing the unique projects below, we hope to drive measurable improvements in sufficiency across Greater Manchester.

Theme Grow Foster Care More Local Placements

Develop Growth Strategy for LA Fostering Services, including options to collaborate regarding the recruitment of carers.

Create new supply or reconfigure existing services to better meet need / demand.


Partner with IFA sector to understand the market and support targeted growth.

Tether demand for specialist services between two or more GM LAs and proceed to develop or commission them.


Embed Enhanced Foster Care Agreement

Partner with the independent sector regarding the Placing Closer to Home project.


Set up GM Foster Carer Retention and Recruitment Working Group (LAs and IFAs)

Better integrate placement supply chain by linking sectors together (i.e. residential and SaILs providers).


Reduce unnecessary demand for placements through Early Help, Edge of Care, reunification programmes including No Wrong Door.