Understanding Costs and Outcomes in Child Welfare Services

A Comprehensive Costing Approach to Managing Your Resources

by Samantha McDermid, Lisa Holmes

Series: Child Welfare Outcomes

Today's child welfare services operate under a limited supply of resources which are being stretched by economic cuts and an increasing number of referrals to children's social care. This book provides a comprehensive costing approach which examines how finite resources can be most effectively used to provide support to the most vulnerable children and their families.

Drawing upon the latest research and data, it outlines a methodology which has been applied to a range of child welfare services. The methodology breaks services down into component parts, creating a 'unit cost' for each type of case and task. This 'bottom-up' approach ensures that costing is consistent and allows for variations specific to each type of case and welfare organisation. By looking explicitly at the links between needs, costs and outcomes, this book gives social care commissioners and managers an indication of the most effective and efficient way to allocate and channel resources. As well as offering these implications for practice, this book will offer policymakers evidence of the effectiveness of early intervention and preventative measures.

In providing a detailed assessment of children's needs, costs and outcomes across the full range of child welfare services and cases, this book will be of essential use to both social care professionals at the commissioning level and policymakers who wish to improve the effectiveness of child welfare services.


  • Jessica Kingsley Publishers; December 2011
  • ISBN: 9780857004482
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Understanding Costs and Outcomes in Child Welfare Services
  • Series: Child Welfare Outcomes
  • Author: Samantha McDermid; Lisa Holmes
  • Imprint: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

About The Author

Lisa Holmes is Assistant Director of the Centre for Child and Family Research at Loughborough University, UK. She currently leads a programme of research to explore the cost of child welfare. With her colleagues, Jean Soper and Harriet Ward she led the development of the Cost Calculator for Children's Services. Samantha McDermid is a Research Associate at the Centre for Child and Family Research, where she has worked on the Costs and Outcomes programme of research for the past four years.