Too many previous reviews, reports and researchers have made the same points. We know what’s wrong with the system, what we need is the political will and urgency to change it.
The ‘Case for Change’ makes for depressing reading. It is unacceptable that so many children and families are being let down and denied the support that could allow them to enjoy healthy and stable lives. Too many previous reviews, reports and research have made the same points. We know what’s wrong with the system, what we need is the political will and urgency to change it and invest in children’s futures.
The Independent Review has again underlined how children’s social care is increasingly focused on investigating serious cases and putting children into care, rather than supporting struggling families to prevent harm from happening in the first place. This isn’t simply the result of a more risk-averse system. It is inescapably linked to the devastating erosion of central Government funding for children’s services over the past decade.
There is also an important acknowledgement that children from poorer backgrounds, disabled children, and those from black and ethnic minority communities are often hardest hit by the cuts in early intervention. NCB fully supports the Review’s call for a more effective and compassionate response to families facing conditions of adversity. We cannot avoid tackling thorny issues like poverty and discrimination if we are going to reduce the number of children coming into care, and avoid the spiralling costs of child protection.
A co-ordinated strategy from across Government is urgently needed that looks at children’s lives in the round, and brings together work in social care, education, health and SEND. But first we need proper investment in early help and early intervention at this year’s Spending Review.
The Review’s analysis is comprehensive, strong and thoughtful – we hope the recommendations will be equally so and acted on swiftly.
Find out more in our research 'Supporting and Strengthening Families' which reviews the evidence supporting early help in children's social care.