CoramBAAF reaction to the Government’s response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care
The Government’s response to the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care has been published. You can read the full response from the Government here which sets out the areas it intends to focus on.
CoramBAAF engagement and work with the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care
The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care was announced in January 2021 and published its final report in May 2022. It was pitched as a “a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform systems and services”. You can see a timeline of how the Care Review evolved here.
We provided initial advice and submitted a response to the Care Review’s call for evidence. Our Black and Minority Ethnic Perspectives Advisory Committee also submitted evidence.
Following the initial stage of the Care Review it put out a call for ideas in November 2021. We submitted eight ideas, which you can read in more details here.
We called for a fostering strategy, a kinship strategy and a legal framework in relation to kinship. We also called for better access to mental health services for children, promotion of family identities, more consistent access to information for families, upskilling the workforce to support children from black and minority ethnic backgrounds and better matching in fostering.
CoramBAAF reaction to the Government response
There are positive steps outlined in the implementation strategy which we were pleased to see. For example, the commitment to publish a kinship care strategy by the end of 2023 along with £9 million investment in training and support for kinship carers is welcome. We look forward to feeding in to and helping to develop this much needed kinship care strategy. You can read Ann Horne, our kinship consultant’s, blog about why kinship carers need support, and her response when the Care Review final report was published.
We were also pleased to see the commitment to delivering a fostering recruitment and retention programme worth £27 million over the next two years. Emma Fincham, our fostering consultant, has written about why we need to work on retaining as well as recruiting foster carers and the cost of living here.
There are areas of policy and practice where we know our members will have concerns about the proposed reforms or the lack of action. The lack of funding of vital services, the current cost of living crisis, poverty and discrimination all have a huge impact on families and the professionals supporting them. There is still a lot more that needs to be done.
We were also disappointed that the funding committed falls far short of what is needed and was indeed recommended by the Care Review. Significant investment is required now and in the longer term to make sure we can meet the needs of our children and young people in care, and care leavers.
As we consider the detail of the Government’s Implementation Strategy, and the three consultations that formed part of this, we will update members regularly with key developments and keep in touch through our blogs, our practice forums and our advisory committees. We will continue to engage with our members to seek their views and make representations on their behalf as the implementation of reforms begins.
James Bury, Head of Policy, Research and Development, CoramBAAF