Getting to the heart of our Community Partnership Network

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The fundamental aim of our policy and research is to generate real insight into the areas we work across, to build understanding of the wider policy landscape and to continuously improve the services we deliver across the United Kingdom.

Since joining Maximus to develop this function, I have been overwhelmed by the support of colleagues across the company.

Their willingness to consider difficult questions, their expertise and passion for the work they do and their openness to embrace new ideas have been very impressive.

This goes to ensure that we continue to deliver our core mission to transform lives.

Our first major research project has been an evaluation of our Community Partnership Network (CPN), testing what it is delivering and considering the wider social value it generates.

The CPN brings together a wide range of organisations, who work collaboratively with us to help people move closer to employment.

They provide expertise and added-value interventions through a range of services, including training and qualifications, debt advice and mental health support.

We intend for all CPN members to benefit from more-effective collaborative working, to collectively make the communities we all serve stronger.​

Our evaluation was focused on the CPN in three of our employability programmes:

  • Fair Start Scotland (Tayside, Lanarkshire)
  • Restart Scheme (West and South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire)
  • Work and Health Programme (Wales)

As well as a review of the research literature on partnership working and the generation of social value; we carried out an anonymous survey of our CPN partners; surveys and discussions with colleagues across our business and feedback sessions with some of our service users.

Key findings included:

The CPN generates real social value

We can see it delivers on many of the aims of the UK Government’s social value policy objectives. It tackles economic inequality, supports equal opportunity and improves community integration.

It is also apparent from an analysis of the research literature, that the CPN supports and greatly enhances the quantity and quality of social value generated through our collective work to support people into employment.

Our partners really value the CPN

Our survey results showed the vast majority of our partners valued membership of the CPN (83%) and most (69%) had seen a positive impact from being in the network.

Where this was not yet the case (chiefly in areas where the CPN is still being developed), partners remained eager to engage with the CPN in the early stages of their membership.

It is clear that, as the CPN becomes fully embedded in a region, the positive impact is even greater.

There are a wide range of benefits

Comments from our partners reveal that membership of the CPN offers a wide range of benefits.

These include networking and collaboration opportunities, expertise and resources, additional referral routes and signposting to other services from members.

We can continue to improve the CPN

Constructive feedback from partners and insights from our colleagues have provided some clear lessons for us to take forward.

These include regular and open communication to enhance the strong relationships we’ve built and continued sharing of information to understand the full range of services on offer.

We will also continue to combine the strengths of Maximus and our local partner organisations.

Everyone can benefit from the CPN

What comes across clearly is that partnership working benefits everyone involved.

This includes Maximus, our network partners, the wider communities and — most importantly — the people whose lives are transformed by the services we all provide.


I know from undertaking this research project just how important the CPN is to our partners, colleagues, and service users.

I also know that everyone in Maximus is proud of what is being achieved, and is fully committed to ensuring that the CPN continues to go from strength to strength.

You can read more in our newly published report: Collaboration Works: the Community Partnership Network.

You can read more in our newly published report: Collaboration Works: the Community Partnership Network

21 September, 2022