Our Five Big Asks on Children’s Social Care Reform
Published: 15th December 2022
3 minute read
Family Rights Group is calling on the Government to commit to system-wide reform in the face of a crisis in the child welfare system.
As we await the Government’s overdue announcement of its implementation strategy in response to the recommendations of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, Family Rights Group is calling for five key commitments from Government.
The Government’s response needs to deliver a child welfare system that is just, fair, and honest and puts safe, loving relationships at the centre. All reforms should be carried out and scrutinised in partnership with children and families who have lived experience of the system.
Our five key requests from Government are as follows:
- Investment in family help so children and families get the support they need to prevent problems escalating
- Families are supported to make a plan to safely raise their children, with a legal right to a family group conference to avert care proceedings
- Families involved with the child welfare system have access to independent legal advice and advocacy, adequately funded by government
- Championing kinship care – so children are raised by loving relatives or friend when they cannot remain at home – including defining it in law, financial support and paid employment leave
- Every child in care is offered Lifelong Links so they can build and maintain loving relationships with family and friends into adulthood.
Cathy Ashley, chief executive of Family Rights Group, said:
“It’s been seven months since Josh MacAlister’s Independent Review. Every day, the crisis in children’s social care gets worse. We are letting down children and families while at the same time incurring an immense cost to the public purse.
“Today Family Rights Group is publishing the five key commitments we want Government to make. We are urging them to support the most valuable resource that children have: their families.
“There is momentum across the sector, and in Parliament, for a different approach. One which prioritises early help, where kinship care is valued, and where all children are supported to live safely and thrive in their family and community.
“The Government’s response must match the scale of this crisis.”