Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Child and Family Research

Exploring costs and outcomes

The Cost Calculator for Children’s Services


The Cost Calculator for Children’s Services (CCfCS) is award-winning purpose-designed software that has been designed to assist local authorities and other agencies to calculate the costs of social care processes and placements for looked after children. It enables local authorities to cost placements and all the activity carried out to support their looked after population in those placements. These costs can be aggregated to produce annual costs, costs for specific types of placements, costs for individual children and for groups of children with different kinds of needs, or according to age or gender. It facilitates comparisons between the relative value of different types of care, making it easier to estimate the potential benefits of introducing a range of alternative packages. Analyses of costs with respect to the outcomes variables included in the CCfCS are also available.

The CCfCS was designed as part of a research project that aimed to explore the relationship between costs and outcomes for looked after children. The model utilises a ‘bottom up’ costing methodology which uses the cost of social care activity as the basis of building up costs over time. Activities are organised into eight social care processes and linked to data concerning salaries, overheads and other types of expenditure to build up a detailed and transparent picture of costs over a given time period. This method allows the CCfCS to take into account variations in cost according to the needs of the children, the types of services and any differences in local authority practices or procedures.

More information on the Costs Programme can be found here: Cost Calculator for Children's Services. Research and development overview and summary (July 2015).




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