Start date: Monday 5 February 2018
Value: £35,000
Company size: SME
Hackney Council

Building an MVP for foster carer applications

8 Incomplete applications

6 SME, 2 large

5 Completed applications

5 SME, 0 large

Important dates

Sunday 3 December 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 8 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Sunday 17 December 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Development of part of a digital service to support the recruitment of foster carers, through the creation of an online eligibility checker and application form
Latest start date
Monday 8 January 2018
Expected contract length
6 months
Organisation the work is for
Hackney Council
Budget range
£20-40,000 excluding VAT and expenses.

About the work

Why the work is being done
We completed a discovery phase to understand the potential for digital to support the recruitment and retention of foster carers. Now we'd like to develop an MVP to support applications, through a diagnosis tool and online application process.
Problem to be solved
Hackney recruits fewer foster carers than neighbouring boroughs, leading to worse outcomes for young people and higher costs for the Council.

The current application process is entirely paper-based. A number of people initiate an application process but do not complete it, and the council has little visibility of why this happens. Moreover, people who are not eligible are not signposted towards other forms of volunteering.

An online diagnosis tool and application form can support a higher quality customer experience and provide more useful advice to prospective foster carers.
Who the users are and what they need to do
As a potential applicant, I need to:
- know whether I'm eligible to be a foster carer so that I can plan accordingly
- develop my application over time, so that I can provide everything required
- be signposted to other volunteering opportunities so that I can develop suitable experience
- know what to expect from the process, so that they have time to prepare
- know what to expect from fostering for Hackney Council, so that they can decide who to become a foster carer with
Early market engagement
Any work that’s already been done
The Discovery phase was run with support from FutureGov. The findings from the discovery phase are available here:
Existing team
2 members of the fostering team, supported by the team manager
1 ICT project manager who is responsible for the management of the social care application, Mosaic.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
Hackney Service Centre, 1 Hillman Street, E8 1DY and the Hackney Works hub in Woodberry Down
Working arrangements
We would prefer a team onsite for 3 days a week, most weeks in order to engage with ICT and Hackney Works colleagues and build broader engagement with the style of working (eg through show and tells).
Security clearance

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Have knowledge of user needs for the service
  • Have experience of working to the GDS service design manual
  • Combine user research, service design and developer expertise
  • Work to user-centered, iterative, Agile principles
  • Have experience designing services for a wide range of digital skills and confidence
  • Consume from and present to Hackney’s emerging API layer
  • Understand how to meet the needs of a diverse range of users
  • Have developed a service to meet the Digital Service Standard (either local or central government)
  • Experience of a similar project
Nice-to-have skills and experience
  • Employ a care leaver
  • Promote user-centred design and Agile across the Council

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Understanding of user needs from the service
  • Clarity of approach
  • How the approach or solution meets user needs
  • How they’ve identified risks and dependencies and offered approaches to manage them
  • Team structure, including skills, experiences and relevance of individuals
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation and other suppliers
  • Be transparent and collaborative when making decisions
  • Have a no-blame culture and encourage people to learn from their mistakes
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience with team members and the wider service
  • Work openly
Payment approach
Capped time and materials
Assessment methods
  • Written proposal
  • Presentation
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. How strict is the requirement to work on site 3 days per week? Would you consider weekly show and tells instead, with occasional on site visits?
Our strong preference is for an agency to be onsite with us as much as possible to ensure that we developed a shared understanding of user need. We don’t believe that a weekly show & tell alone would be sufficient to achieve this.
2. Your £40,000 budget is extremely limited when considering that should include development, hosting, and any integration that is possible, e.g. to your API services
We would expect to find additional budget for the cost for hosting and support of the product.
3. Is this an Alpha to develop a testable prototype, which will lead onto a Beta, or are you looking for a minimal website which you can actually put live?
This is not an Alpha. We would expect an MVP to be sufficiently viable that it has some use in a live environment, but minimum because it does not perform at scale or cover all scenarios. For example, the eligibility checker might be available to people who choose to use it; whilst the online application form might be used to re-key data, or take applications over the phone.