Sector concerned Care Review indicates 'uncertain future' for children's homes

Neil Puffett
Monday, June 28, 2021

The government-commissioned review of children's social care in England poses an "existential threat" to the future of the residential care system, the sector has warned.

Jonathan Stanley has said the complex needs of children in residential care must be considered by the review. Picture: Tom Campbell
Jonathan Stanley has said the complex needs of children in residential care must be considered by the review. Picture: Tom Campbell

The National Centre for Excellence in Residential Child Care (NCERCC) said the first major report outlining the review's priorities for improving children’s social care, published earlier this month, indicates an "uncertain" future for children's homes.

It points to sections of the Case for Change report which includes references to “a broader question about whether children’s homes are the right long term option for children in care and the extent to which they should play a role in our long term vision for care”.

It also highlights the question “what role should residential and secure homes have in the future” as evidence that the report "is not supportive of residential child care".

Jonathan Stanley, NCERCC chair, has called for the Care Review to increase its knowledge and understanding of residential child care before making its recommendations.

"It has to be absolutely certain that it is does not create an existential risk to residential child care," he said.

"The reason why sufficiency and not a needs analysis is the current expectation is because a needs analysis would show the need for more settings to meet high level and complex needs. It would require more residential resources. It would require more funding for children’s services.

"This is why the Care Review has to challenge its terms of reference and propose more funding," he added.

 


Following the publication of the Case for Change, interested parties are able to submit feedback on the initial report through the review’s website until 13 August.

The Care review has been contacted for comment.

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