The increase in care applications highlighted by the Care Crisis review is alarming. However, it must be set within the wider context of rising demand and pressure across the children’s social care system, which illustrates the growing number of children and families who now rely on state support.
- Solving the current situation requires an understanding of the root causes of this growing level of need amongst children and families. It is important that we have a clear focus on addressing the issues facing children and families, rather than simply keeping children out of care. This needs a workable and fully funded long term strategy for change. It is essential that any care strategy is developed effectively on a cross-Whitehall basis.
- We support the Care Crisis review recommendation that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Department for Education (DfE) examine the impact of benefits reform on children and families. It reflects our call for the introduction of a children and young people impact assessment to encourage public bodies to fully consider the impact of policy and legislation on children.
- Many of the approaches recommended in the report are welcome, particularly a stronger focus on pre-proceedings work and a recognition of the importance of relationships in social work. Clearly, these approaches can only be delivered consistently if local authorities are given the financial ability to do so. We need immediate and sustained increase in the funding available to children’s services. Councils face a children’s services funding gap of almost £3 billion by 2025, and urgently need additional resources on top of this to deliver the vital early help services that can help prevent the need for more formal intervention further down the line
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Westminster Hall Debate on findings of the Care Crisis Review House of Commons - 5 September 2018