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Cambridgeshire County Council was concerned about the effectiveness of its children in need social work service which covers a large area of around 3,000km2 and a population of more than 622,000. Using various mapping datasets from Ordnance Survey, the teams have made tens of thousands of pounds in savings, and social workers now have more time to work directly with their allocated families.

What were the challenges?

  • Keeping social work efficient in a county of considerable size and population.
  • Optimising the time social workers spend with their allocated families.
  • Ensuring social workers could quickly respond to families’ and schools’ needs.
  • Reducing the amount of time staff spend on the road.
  • Providing better local links across the county.
What was the solution?

Focussing on the four office locations, digital mapping data from OS highlighted inefficiencies in how teams were operating. It showed, for example, that workers from Ely were going to Wisbech, and vice versa. RouteFinder was used to work out catchments; distance and time travelled; road type and speed; settlements and areas where offices ‘overlapped’.

What were the outcomes?
  • Catchments were adjusted so client numbers matched the teams at each base.
  • Around 10,524km in mileage was saved over two services in one month.
  • Up to £35k saved in annual mileage costs.
  • Up to £39k saved in staff time savings (at estimated £20/hr; 40mph).
  • Total savings = up to £74k.
  • Schools have reported a quicker response to child protection enquiries.
  • Social workers get to spend more time with their case families.

The products used

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