Tagged / Care

Independent review of children’s social care: the Government’s plans

The Minister for Children and Families, Will Quince, delivered an oral statement to the Commons earlier regarding the publication of the independent review of children’s social care, outlining the Government’s initial and long-term plans. Please see below for a summary of the key exchanges. Summary provided by Dods.

Will Quince, Minister for Children and Families:

  • Said he looked forward to working with the sector, those with firsthand experience, and colleagues across the House, to inform an ambitious and etailed govt response and implementation strategy to be published before end of 2022
  • He said he had three main priorities:
    • Improve the child protection system
    • Support families to care for their children
    • To ensure there are the right places for children in the right places
  • To respond without delay, the Government are establishing a National Implementation Board of people of experience of leading transformational change
  • The Board will also consist of people with experience of the care system
  • Too many vulnerable children have been let down by the system but the Government is striving to change this
  • In April, the Government backed the Supporting Families Programme with £695m for 3,000 of the most vulnerable families – he welcomed reviews recognition of this programme
  • The Government will work with the sector to develop a nation children’s social care framework and will set out more detail on this later this year
  • The Minister said he supported the principle of the review’s proposed early career framework
  • He said they would set out “robust plans” to refocus the support social workers receive early on, with a particular focus on child protection
  • They would take action to take forward the review’s three data and digital priority areas, ensuring Las and partners were in “driving seat of reform”
  • Following review’s recommendation for a data and tech taskforce, the Government will introduce a new digital and data solutions fund to help local authorities improve delivery for children and families through technology – more detail will follow later this year on joining up data across the public sector
  • The Government will prioritise working with local authorities to recruit more foster carers, which will include pathfinder local recruitment campaigns that build towards a national programme
  • The Government will focus on providing more support through the application process, to improve conversion rate from expression of interest, to approved foster carers
  • Quince said he would return to the House on this date next year to update Parliament on progress made with regards to the review
  • As an initial response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report into the children’s social care market, the Minister said he had asked the DfE to conduct research into the children’s homes workforce
  • He announced that, on Thursday, the Child Safeguarding Practice Review panel would set out lessons learned from the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, and that the Education Secretary would outline the Government’s response in an oral statement to the House

Helen Hayes, Shadow Minister for Children and Families:

  • She welcomed the reviews conclusion that a total rest of the system was needed, and said its conclusion was a “terrible indictment of the extent to which this government has been failing children for more than a decade”
  • She highlighted a rise in the number of children in poverty, saying it was a causal factor underpinning the government’s failure
  • Hayes said the number of looked-after children had increased continually since 2010, as had the number of section 47 inquiries, while half of all children’s services departments had been rated ‘Inadequate’ of ‘Requiring improvement’
  • This was while staff turnover had increased, and outcomes for care leavers had been worsening – all while private providers made £300m in profits last year
  • She said the law recognised the age of 18 as the end of childhood, and it was therefore “shocking” that the Government had allowed children to be placed in unregister children’s homes and “other completely unsuitable accommodation” – she therefore welcomed the review’s conclusion that unregistered placements for 16 and 17 year olds must stop
  • She welcomed the focus on restoring early help to families, as well as the recommendations regarding further support for kinship carers
  • Hayes said that, while the Minister had re-announced a series of policies today, there was nothing here that would deliver the transformation in children’s social care that the review demanded
  • She asked the Minister if he would commit to a firm date for the publication of a comprehensive response to the review and a detailed implementation plan
  • She asked if he expected there would be a need for legislation, and how this squared with the absence of children’s social care in the Queen’s Speech
  • She asked how the announcement of early help investment would ensure that early help services were available in every area of the country so that every family who could be supported
  • She also asked what representations he was making to the Treasury in response to the review
  • Hayes asked if the Minister would commit to an end to profiteering in children’s social care
  • She also asked how he would ensure the voices of children were at the heart of children’s social care, and how he would guarantee the workforce were fully engaged and involved as reforms were implemented
  • Finally, she asked how he would ensure that, as reforms were implemented, the framework of accountability for decisions made by the state about the care of children, would be strengthened

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister reiterated that he wanted to take as much of a cross-party approach to this reform as possible
  • He said they had to be honest that, despite years of real-terms increase in social care, too many children were still being let down
  • On implementation, he said he and the Education Secretary were determined that this wouldn’t be “just another report”, which was why he was establishing an implementation board, with the view of delivering a plan by the end of this year
  • He said he hoped that, with this excellent review, they had a roadmap and an opportunity to ensure cases of abuse and neglect were “as rare as they are trgic”

Robert Halfon (Con, Harlow), chair of the Education Committee:

  • Halfon described it as a “visionary” report, saying that it was a family/community-upwards approach, rather than a top-down
  • He said he hoped the Government would be bold on the funding issues raised, and also the proposal on the private company windfall tax
  • He asked what the Government were doing to ensure children in care were being placed in ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’ schools and were receiving the right targeted catch-up tuition, and mentoring support, to help catch up on lost learning and leave care into a good job

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister confirmed their plan was to be “bold and ambitious”
  • Their intention was to set out an immediate response today, and then publish a full response and implementation plan by the end of the year
  • He said Halfon was right that the results of children in care and care leavers were unacceptable, and that this review was about improving the life chances of some of the most vulnerable children in the country

Tim Loughton (Con, East Worthing and Shoreham), co-vice chair of the APPG for Looked After Children and Care Leavers and former children’s minister:

  • Loughton noted a review was only as good as its delivery, and asked why this one would be different to the previous “once-in-a-generation reforms” that hadn’t fixed these issues
  • He also asked the Minister how the proposed Family Help programme would interact with the Family Hubs programme and the Best Start in Life programme

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister said he was right that they had to ensure that the implementation of this review was different to what had gone before – and noted the SEND review of 2014 as an example of a bold and ambitious plan, where the implementation did not match
  • This was why he wouldn’t be diving straight into the 80+ recommendations, and instead had opted to set out an initial plan and then engage on the bigger conclusions so that they could get this right

Emma Hardy (Lab, Kingston upon Hull West), vice-chair of University APPG:

  • Hardy urged the Minister to look particularly at what happened to care leavers when they reached 18, saying that the support immediately fell away, and asked the Minister to consider this when formulating the government response to the review

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister said she was right and that he would be looking carefully at the recommendations
  • He also said it was important they didn’t see this as a DfE-only issues – that there was a role for every government department, local authority, and even business, to play

Jess Phillips, Shadow Minister for Safeguarding:

  • Phillips offered her guidance and experience in the development of the response, particular so the government ensured that violence against women and girls (VAWG) specialist were included
  • She urged the Minister to stop the placement of 16 and 17 year olds in unregulated settings today

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister said she was right to reference victims of domestic abuse, and assured her he was committed to working across government and public services in their response and wider support
  • On the point of regulation, he said the government had £142m earmarked to support the regulation of settings to 17 and 18 year olds

Andrew Gwynne (Lab, Denton and Reddish), chair of the Kinship Care APPG:

  • Gwynne asked if the Minister would commit to delivering on the proposals in the review to unlock family networks, including family group decision-making, as well as the package of support for kinship carers

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister said they would look very closely at the recommendations regarding kinship care and special guardians

Munira Wilson, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson:

  • Wilson said kinship carers received no financial support unless they registered as foster parents, but that this process denied them parental responsibility for the child – so she asked again if the Government would accept the review’s recommendations for kinship carers to get the same financial support as foster carers

Minister Quince:

  • The Minister said they would look carefully at all the recommendations and, while he agreed with her, he wouldn’t been drawn on committing or dismissing the report’s recommendations at this point in time

BU Humanising Practice SIG meeting

We are a group of academics and practitioners who have an interest in what makes us Feel Human and how this is linked to Health, Wellbeing, Dignity and Compassion. As part of the Centre for Qualitative Research CQR we use Lifeworld approaches, embodied knowing and subjective experience as the basis for our understanding. For more information please click here

At meetings we discuss issues following two presentations, and share our on-going work into humanising practice in education, practice and research.

Our next meeting is

On 6th December 2018, From 2pm to 4.30 pm, 

At Room B225 Bournemouth House Bournemouth University, Lansdowne Campus, (BH1 3LH)

We have two great presentations:

  • Humanising higher education by practicing with an embodied relational understanding. Dr Camila Devis-Rozental, Senior Lecturer, OVC, BU
  • Humanising education through digital stories: the human side of technology Dr Sue Baron Lecturer in Adult Nursing FHSS BU

All staff, students and external visitors are welcome

If you would like directions to the venue, have any queries OR If you are not already a member of the Humanising SIG e-mail list and would like to be informed of future events, please contact Caroline Ellis-Hill at cehill@bournemouth.ac.uk

Political News (w/e 4 May 2018)


Environment Minister  Thérèse Coffey made an announcement on funding for microplastics research

Digital media experts discuss internet regulation

The Commons Select Committee have opened an inquiry into the challenges and opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.  Contact the Policy Team if you’d like to contribute to BU’s response to this inquiry.

The Foreign Affairs Committee held an evidence session questioning academics on the responsibility to protect and humanitarian intervention.


Key personnel changes:

Which? – Peter Vicary-Smith to stand down as Chief Executive.

Cancer Research UK – Michelle Mitchell to replace Harpal Kumar as Chief Executive in the summer.

Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards – Stuart Dollow appointed as Chair from 1st June for three years.

Care Quality Commission – Ian Trenholm to replace David Behan as Chief Executive in July.


Have a lovely weekend!