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Commissioning Is A Parenting And Child Care Activity

Commissioning is a parenting and child care activity

What is the definition of quality we are using in planning placements for children and is it related to the task of caring for /parenting them?

This is the first of a series of papers NCERCC will be publishing that will seek to deepen and widen the definition and practice of commissioning for residential child care.

The primary task of this paper is to start a discussion regarding the purpose and aims of commissioning in parenting and child care terms around the following question:

In making sense of outcomes for children, there is a need for quality assurance to make use of objective and subjective approaches. The paper considers the necessary interactions between commissioners and providers using concepts used in child care thinking. The paper brings learning from many other disciplines areas to outline a characterised by trusting sustained relationships, rather than by a need to monitor and control. .

Commissioning needs to be able to take the strengths of finance and administration and combine them with care values and practice . A strategy for the achievement of this may hinge around the development of relational commissioning and require the current activity of commissioning to be transformed;

  • Shifting from product to learning;
  • Developing explicit skills, attitudes, and abilities as well as knowledge;
  • Developing appropriate assessment procedures;
  • Rewarding transformative practice;
  • Encouraging discussion of practice of both commissioner and provider;
  • Providing transformative learning for all commissioners and providers
  • Fostering new collegiality;
  • Linking quality improvement to learning;
  • Auditing improvement


Jonathan Stanley