The Cost Calculator for Children’s Services has won the Loughborough University’s Knowledge Transfer Award for Enterprise and was also highly commended in the Consultancy Enterprise Award category. Jean Soper attended the award ceremony and was presented with the Cost Calculator award on behalf of the Centre for Child and Family Research, CCFR.
The awards, which recognise products as being creative, innovative and pushing boundaries were presented at the inaugural Enterprise Awards Gala Dinner held at Holywell Park on Friday 2 October. The event, marking 100 years of innovation, saw Loughborough University pay tribute to its leading entrepreneurs including academics, graduates, spin-out companies, and public and private organisations.
The Cost Calculator embodies the costing methodology that has been developed as part of research led by Harriet Ward, Lisa Holmes and Jean Soper. The Cost Calculator is a computer software application designed to assist local authorities and other agencies to monitor the true costs of services to children in care and those in need. Its application has been extended through two Knowledge Transfer Partnerships with local authorities (Coventry City Council and Cheshire West, Cheshire and Cheshire East Council). The Cost Calculator was licensed to 20 councils throughout the UK. The updated version for 2015 will be available soon. It is the result of policy-relevant research investigating theoretical and empirical relationships between costs and outcomes and findings are influential both nationally and internationally. The Cost Calculator includes practical materials for use by social services and other agencies that help them in making decisions about how to deploy scarce resources to secure better outcomes for children in care and those in need.
CCFR is an independent research unit based in the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough and has been carrying out research into costs and outcomes since 2000, funded by the Department of Health, the Department for Education (formerly, Department for Children, Schools and Families) and other public and private organisations.