NCB statement on the Independent Review for Children's Social Care.
Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau, said:
“Every child deserves a future feeling safe, secure and supported. But our current approach is not working, with record numbers of looked after children and a system skewed towards helping families only when they reach crisis point and children have already been harmed. As the cost of living crisis bites, more families are being pushed to breaking point and more vulnerable children are being put at risk.
“The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care has not shied away from the challenge, addressing knotty issues like multi-agency working, the huge and unnecessary barriers to sharing information about children, and the broken care market. Crucially, the Review has consulted closely with thousands of care-experienced children, young people and adults, and the practitioners who work with them.
“Many of the proposals are founded on a desire to fundamentally shift the balance in children’s social care towards helping families early and strengthening relationships.
“Keeping families together is the right thing to do, but also makes financial sense. Our recent evidence paper demonstrates that early intervention can reduce demand for more expensive crisis services later on.
“To deliver this new approach, the Review recommends a temporary injection of around £2 billion over the next five years by the Treasury, helping up to half a million children who require extra support.
“This may seem a big ask of the public purse at a time when so many in our country are facing hardship. But if not now, when?
“The Independent Review offers a vision for strengthening families and rooting services in the communities they serve. Yet we know this is a time of huge change for public services that are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic. Major structural reforms in the NHS, the SEND green paper, and a Schools Bill that entered Parliament with undue haste, must work in harmony with the Review’s recommendations without losing momentum for change.
“We call on leaders from national and local government, public services and the voluntary sector to seize this moment to transform children’s lives for the better.”
Joint statement with other leading children's charities
You can read a statement signed by NCB and other leading members of the children's sector here.