{meta} Agenda item - Request for Approval - Exception to Contractual Standing Orders - Safe Families

Agenda item


Salford City Council - Record of Decision


I, Councillor Hinds, Lead Member for Finance and Support Services and chairman of the Procurement Board, in exercise of the powers contained within the Council Constitution do hereby approve an exception to Contractual Standing Orders as permitted within the City Council Constitution and the award of the Contract for The Safe Families for Children Serviceas detailed in the table below:


Detail required


Title/Description of Contracted Service/Supply/Project

Safe Families for Children Service

Name of Successful Contractor

Safe Families For Children

Supplier Registration Number

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)


Type of organisation

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)

Registered Charity

Status of Organisation

(to be supplied by Corporate Procurement)


Contract Value


Per Annum (estimated average)

Contract Duration

12 months

Contract Start Date


Contract End Date


Optional Extension Period 1

12 Months

Optional Extension Period 2

Not applicable

Who will approve each Extension Period?

Strategic Director (extension < £150k)

Contact Officer (Name & number)

Rachel Shearn  686 5257 / Steve Titley 793 2435

Lead Service Group

People Services

Reason for CSO Exception

(select all that apply)

The goods / services / works are only obtainable from one provider and there is no other provider available to allow genuine competition


The execution of works or the supply of goods or services is controlled by a statutory body

Delivers Best Value to the Council


Special education, health or social care contracts, if it is considered in the Council’s best interests and to meet the Council’s obligations under relevant legislation

The execution of works or the supply of goods and services is required so urgently as not to permit compliance with the requirements of competition

Security works where the publication of documents or details in the tendering process could prejudice the security of SCC and Salford residents

Procurements made through, or on behalf of, any consortium, local authority, statutory or similar body, provided that tenders or quotations are invited and contracts placed in accordance with national or EU legislation.

Funding Source

Choose an item.

Ethical Contractor

Mayor’s Employment Charter

Committed to sign up to the Charter



Accredited Living Wage Employer



The reasons are


The Safe Families for Children (SFFC) programme offers packages of support through a network of volunteers providing a community solution for families in crisis, or in need of support. The support includes: providing emotional and practical support; short stay hosting for children; donations of goods and services and now, more recently also taking the lead with some families in their Early Help Assessment and support.


This volunteer support is supervised by SFFC who have qualified social work staff and agreed in conjunction with Early Help Locality Teams, to ensure that the support is embedded within, and complementary to, the team around the family approach.


As discussed in the report SFFC is a specialist service that is delivering good value, offering vulnerable children and families in Salford the opportunity to engage with opportunities they may otherwise struggle to access and complements and extends the support offered through the local authority.


The service has more recently provided added value by taking the lead on some Early Help Assessments. Whilst this significant additional provision is being embedded and tested and with Covid 19 still likely to add to the pressures on both families and wider Council provision it was concluded that it would be in the best interests of families and the Council to award a contract of 12 months from 01.04.21 to 31.03.22 with an optional extension to 31.03.23. During this period the Early Help Service will work with commissioning to continue to monitor the efficacy of the SFFC service and also explore future options including potentially joint commissioning with other GM authorities.






Options considered and rejected were


The option of decommissioning the service at the end of the current contract on 31.03.21 was rejected due to the ongoing need for support for vulnerable families, especially as the uncertainty caused by Covid 19 continues.


The option of going out to competition for delivery from 01.04.21 was rejected because of the proven, ongoing unique and complementary support the current provider was offering during current uncertain times but the option to go out to competition in 21/22 rather than take up the optional extension to 31.03.23 remains, depending on the situation with Covid 19 and market conditions at the time.


Assessment of risk


If the service isn’t extended then there will be an increase on the demands on social work teams, with 67 families being engaged with by SFFC at the current time. Also, as discussed above, with the Covid 19 crisis currently entering a second wave it would be a risk in uncertain times to interrupt the relationships formed between SFFC, early help professionals in the Council and the families they serve.


The source of funding is - Locality Team revenue budget (South Team).


Legal advice - obtained from Tony Hatton, Principal Solicitor, tel. 219 6323

Financial advice - obtained from Chris Mee, Strategic Finance Manager Ext 0434


Procurement advice - obtained from Christopher Conway, Procurement Category Manager, tel. 0161 686 6248.


HR advice – not applicable

Climate change implications - obtained from Michael Hemingway, Principal Officer, Climate Change tel: 0161 793 3209


Documents used

The following documents have been used to assist the decision process –

Report of the Strategic Director for People to Procurement Board on 8th November 2017 -  Approval for an Exception to Contractual Standing Orders to award a contract for the Safe Families For Children Service


Contact details -      Rachel Shearn, Early Help Locality Manager, 0161 686 5257 / Steve Titley Commissioning Manager,  0161 793 2435



·       The Lead Member has been consulted and is supportive of the proposed contract.

·       The appropriate Scrutiny Committee to call-in the decision is the Children’s Scrutiny Committee




Signed:         BILL HINDS                      Dated: 25th November 2020

                    Lead Member



*         This decision was published on 25th November 2020.  

*         This decision will come in force at 4.00 p.m. on 2nd December 2020unless it is called-in in accordance with the Decision Making Process Rules.


Supporting documents: