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Family Rights Group’s response to the Care Review’s ‘Case for Change’

Published: 17th June 2021

2 minute read

Today the independent review of children’s social care in England published its ‘Case for Change’, setting out what the Review has identified as the main challenges in the child welfare system. The report can be read below.

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Here is our initial response:

“Family Rights Group has contributed evidence to the Care Review and we would like to thank all the mothers, fathers and kinship carers with whom we have worked and who have shared their views and experiences with the Care Review team.

“We welcome the publication of the Review’s initial case for change today. We recognise much of their analysis of the current problems in the child welfare system and many of the findings are consistent with the challenges that we identified during the Care Crisis Review. The current system is not working well enough for children, families and for those working in it.

“The system has become too focused on investigating rather than supporting families, meaning many opportunities to work in partnership with families early are missed. The result is a system which is overwhelmed, where more families are struggling without help and increasing numbers of children are subject to care proceedings.

“We are pleased the review has recognised the value of supporting children to live safely and thrive in their family, the benefits of kinship care and the importance of building Lifelong relationships for children in care. We welcome the recognition that families and local authorities are facing significant financial pressures whilst some private organisations are making huge profits from the care system. We also welcome the acknowledgement that many families become involved with children’s social care because they are parenting in conditions of adversity, and that societal inequalities related to factors such as deprivation, disability and ethnicity play a significant role.

“The case for change is an important starting point but the greater challenge is coming up with a plan to address these problems and reform the system for the better. Family Rights Group bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to this discussion, including from our Lifelong Links approach bringing lasting relationships for children in care, our national Family Group Conferencing network, our legal and practice advice and advocacy service, our parents’ and kinship carers’ panels, and our work hosting the All Party Parliamentary Group on Kinship Care and the Kinship Care Alliance. We look forward to continuing to contribute ideas, and supporting parents and kinship carers with lived experienced of the system to share their ideas.

“This is an important opportunity to consider wholesale reform of the child welfare system and the Review must be bold in finding solutions which deliver the change needed to improve the lives of children and families.”

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