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Our engagement strategy

Engagement and co-production review

From March to April 2022, Norfolk County Council asked Year Here to review its Adult Social Services Department’s approach to engagement and co-production with Norfolk residents.

They spoke to both internal and external stakeholders. This included commissioners, social workers, people who use our services, family and carers. From this, they highlighted some challenges. These included:

  • Understanding of key themes associated with engagement and co-production varied across the organisation
  • Limited resources for enhanced engagement and co-production
  • Siloed and duplicate working within the department
  • Reliance on providers for feedback on their services. Information is sometimes not shared or gets spread in inaccessible ways

They made a series of recommendations, based on the review's findings. These include:

  • Sharing and championing existing knowledge and examples of good practice
  • Instigating formal opportunities for engagement with people who use our services
  • Creating a role focused on facilitating collaboration with engagement forums

About the strategy

Our strategy sets out how Adult Social Services will approach engagement and co-production with people that draw on its services over the next two years.

We drew up the strategy in July 2022 and it got approved in December of that year. It's now seen as a ‘working document’ for Adult Social Services.

The strategy outlines how the department will improve the way that it engages and co-produces with people who draw on social care.

This is so it doesn’t deliver services to them or create policies that have a negative impact on them. Instead it understands and invests in what works and matters to them.

In doing so, we hope that this approach will help people in Norfolk to live the lives they want to lead.

What we aim to achieve

If we successfully deliver this strategy over the next two years, we will have:

  • Increased understanding among Adult Social Services colleagues so they know what good co-production and engagement is and can put it into practice
  • Built the knowledge, skills and confidence of people and families to work with us in equal partnership
  • Significantly increased the time we spend with people who use our services. We'll be able to show how we've acted on what we’ve heard.
  • Understood and shared our progress with people and families in an accessible way. We'll celebrate our successes and be open to feedback about how we can improve further.

Why is this important

People have told us how important co-production is to them and we agree because it:

  • Helps to improve the lives of people with care and support needs
  • Allows us to make sure people have the right care and support around them
  • Helps to build stronger communities and social networks
  • Makes sure that we use the resources that we have on the things that matter most to local people
  • Enables the people involved in co-production to learn new skills and develop new networks
  • Gives people a real voice in service development, building self-determination and value into people’s lives


We have adopted the Think Local Act Personal definition of co-production as:

An equal relationship between people who use services and the people responsible for services. They work together, from design to delivery, sharing strategic decision-making about policies as well as decisions about the best way to deliver services

We're committed to the following principles to guide our approach:

  • Clear – we will be clear about why we are engaging, and we will be clear about the nature of the engagement
  • Open – we will be open and transparent about our engagement. We will publish a rolling programme of engagement, highlighting key activities and being honest about any constraints we face.
  • Feedback – we will communicate the outcomes of engagement to those who took part and more widely. We'll respect the privacy of people who may have shared their lived experience with us.
  • On-going dialogue – we will aim to have an on-going dialogue with people who use our services, partners, and stakeholders. This is rather than ‘one-off’ events or discussions.
  • Valuing people’s time – we'll ensure that we reimburse people for their time when engaging with us in a fair way.

How we'll measure our success

We'll measure both outputs and outcomes delivered through this strategy. Our output measures will include:

  • Estimated amount of time and resources invested in co-production and engagement activities
  • Number of staff that have completed co-production training
  • Number of departmental personal development plans with objectives relating to engagement and co-production
  • Number of departmental directors and commissioners’ hours or days spent with service users
  • Quantity of co-production projects completed and ongoing

Our outcome measures will include:

  • People who take part in co-production activities feel we listened to them and valued their contributions
  • Colleagues feel the department has matured in its approach to engagement and co-production
  • Colleagues feel that the quantity and quality of engagement with people has improved

Find out about co-production on the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System website.

Find out more about our main engagement and co-production activities.

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