Why Help Us
2 minute read
Our purpose is to help children live safely and thrive within their family and community.
We were founded in 1974 by social workers, lawyers and families in response to the injustices experienced by many parents involved with children’s services and the unnecessary separation of children from their families.
We promote a socially just welfare and family justice system, in which children’s and families’ voices and experiences are central to decision making. We do this through:
- a specialist legal and practice advice service;
- by supporting local authorities through the provision of resources, training and consultancy;
- by finding innovative family-led ways to improve child welfare;
- by promoting parent and kinship care forums; and
through research and lobbying for legislative and policy changes.
We have had some important successes over the last 45 years: For example, 46 years ago parents were NOT:
- legally represented if their child was subject to care proceedings
- included in their child’s case conference, if there were child protection concerns
- invited to reviews if their child was in care
Now they are.
We have had a significant impact in influencing legislation, including the Children Act 1989.
These achievements are due to us consistently bringing evidence of injustices to the attention of politicians, practitioners and the media, and putting forward workable solutions.
However, more could be done to prevent children from being taken into care in the first place and parents need to get the early help to stop problems escalating into a crisis.
There are more than 200,000 children in the UK raised by family and kinship carers. These children have suffered similar adversities to those in the care system, yet the support they receive (or lack of it) bears little if any relationship to their needs.