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Children's social care

Catch22 responds to announcement of Independent Review into Children’s Social Care

Close-up of a young child playing with a wooden block puzzle. Their face is not visible.

The Education Secretary has today announced an Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, led by Josh MacAlister. This review, which will begin in March 2021, seeks to reform the system, giving children in care the benefits of a stable loving home.

The review is set to look at challenges including the increase in numbers of looked after children, inconsistencies in children’s social care practice, outcomes across the country, and the failure of the system to provide enough stable homes for children.Through this process, the review will shape the way that children engage with the care system, taking a comprehensive look at the process from referral to becoming looked after.It will incorporate the voices and experiences of those with experience of children’s social care in the work.

Chris Wright, Chief Executive of Catch22, said:

“It is widely acknowledged that outcomes for children in care are unforgivably poor  – so this review is desperately needed.  It is absolutely right that the voices of care-experienced children and young people are being put at the heart. We stand ready to contribute, through the expertise of our staff working with children in care, and who have left care,  and of course the young people themselves.

“There are many questions that need to be answered – from why the demand for placements exceeds supply resulting in a shortage of high-quality provision​ to why there is wide-scale use of unregulated care and out of area moves. We also hope the review will include a focus on the children’s social care workforce. There is a real need for investment in training and recruitment to ensure the best people are working with the right tools and have a recognised career trajectory.

“I’ve no doubt that with Josh MacAlister at the helm, we will see a thorough review, with some radical proposals for how the system can be improved. The sector – and most importantly the children it serves – deserve nothing less.”