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Who we are and how we work (Children's Commissioning)

Who we are and how we work

Commissioning is important for improving public services. Our goal is to help vulnerable children, young people, and families by working with partners to prioritize their needs. We understand that achieving our goals requires collaboration within complex systems. We use the commissioning cycle as a framework for our work and often work on multiple phases at once. If necessary, we may return to an earlier phase for specific tasks.

Helene Carr – Head of Service Children’s Commissioning Peterborough

Helene leads the strategic programme of commissioning for children and families, driving innovation to deliver better outcomes and financial efficiencies.  Helene leads a team with a variety of commissioning portfolios.


Commissioning cycle

The commissioning cycle involves four key areas to ensure that contracted services meet the needs of the target audience.

  • First, analysis is done by looking at legislation, local needs, and available resources.
  • Next, the planning phase involves identifying gaps in existing services and designing a new service in alignment with the Commissioning Strategy and local strategies.
  • The third phase involves finding providers who can deliver the new service and building capacity, while maintaining positive relationships with potential bidders.
  • Finally, the fourth phase focuses on reviewing the strategy and market performance, as well as the outcomes of the contracted services.
Visual of the planning cycle as explained in previous bullet points


Co-production is about involving people throughout the commissioning process and the lifetime of the resulting service. These people include those who use our services, carers, families and local communities. These groups will help to:

  • Explain about their local needs, their aspirations and any resources already existing within their area.
  • Make important decisions about what they need to ensure people have better lives and how to make these things happen.
  • Be involved in decisions about what services are put in place
  • Be involved in determine how well providers are doing and what they could do better.

Procurement services

Procurement is an important part of commissioning children’s services. Commissioners work closely with the procurement services in Peterborough City Council when purchasing goods and services.

Who we work with

The world of children's commissioning is constantly changing and complex, with many interconnected factors such as families, communities, services, and politics. To tackle complex issues, commissioners begin with purposeful conversations and collaborations, involving diverse partners and community members to learn, adapt, and improve practices. We work with many agencies to achieve our goals.