The Realising Ambition consortium, of which The Young Foundation was a part, produced a series of 12 Programme Insights rather than writing a long evaluation report at the end of the five-year programme.

In our eighth Programme Insight, we consider the realistic costs of delivering high-quality services for children and young people. It argues that a comprehensive estimation of the costs of service delivery is essential for both commissioners and service delivery organisations.

We explore why realistic cost estimates are important and highlight the dangers of cost under-estimation. We then introduce the key concept of unit cost analysis – including direct and indirect costs – and present our analysis of these across the Realising Ambition portfolio.

We also summarise key learning on cost estimation and implications for both delivery organisations and commissioners of children’s services.

Posted on: 29 March 2017

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