Family Rights Group seeks ‘partnership for change’ with lead councillors in children’s social care
Published: 21st October 2021
4 minute read
Local councillors with responsibility for, or an interest in, children’s social care, are invited to join a new ‘partnership for change across the child welfare system’.
Family Rights Group has launched the councillors’ network as a forum for sharing knowledge and ideas on improving outcomes for children and support for parents and kinship carers.
The national charity works to ensure the child welfare and family justice systems supports children to live safely and thrive within their family, while strengthening the family and community networks of those children who cannot live at home.
Family Rights Group were recently successful in securing a major three year grant from The Legal Education Foundation for an initiative working with the judiciary, local authorities and families to improve early and pre-proceedings work with families in the interests of children.
The new network is free to join and open to councillors of all political parties. It will include regular e-communications, written briefings and invites to exclusive councillor events.
Cathy Ashley, Chief Executive of Family Rights Group, said:
“The children’s social care system has been described as being in crisis and that was before the pandemic exacerbated the stresses faced by families and local services further. Local authorities, communities and families are contending with severe financial pressures.
“Despite national child welfare legislation, there are stark differences between localities in the numbers of children subject to child protection and care proceedings, and the number of children supported to live in kinship care when they can’t remain at home. Local authorities are adopting different approaches, cultures and innovations.
“Lead councillors with responsibility for children’s services drive the agenda in their local child welfare system. Collectively, they also have a lot to offer the national debate around system reform and best practice.
“We want to work with councillors to deliver on what we think is a shared mission, to ensure the child welfare and family justice systems supports children to live safely and thrive within their family, while strengthening the family and community networks of those children who cannot live at home.
“We have substantial experience working with families, practitioners, academics, local authorities and the courts to pioneer innovative approaches to child welfare. We are keen to share our knowledge, advice and ideas on improving children’s social care and delivering better outcomes for children.
“We see it as a partnership for change, complementing the work of the LGA and others.”
Some feedback from councillors on their work with Family Rights Group:
Notes to editors:
- In 2017, Family Rights Group instigated the sector-led Care Crisis Review which investigated the rising number of children subject to care proceedings. In 2018 they worked with cross party MPs to establish the Parliamentary Taskforce on Kinship Care and now host the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care. The charity also services the Kinship Care Alliance.
- The charity’s free specialist legal and child welfare practice advice service for parents, relatives and kinship carers supports more than 7000 families a year.
- Family Rights Group has been at the forefront of the development and introduction of family group conferences in the United Kingdom.
- The charity also developed the innovative Lifelong Links approach which has supported more than 1500 care experienced young people to build a positive and lasting support network by reconnecting with friends and relatives.
For further details, please contact:
Public Affairs Officer
07917 802 073