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Right support vital to keep families together

The Clear Blue Waterreport by England's chief social worker Isabelle Trowler and the University of Sheffield is a brave, compelling and defensible reminder of the care we have to take over life-changing decisions about whether and why we think a child should be permanently removed from their birth parents.

Early help must prove it cuts care demand

Graham Allen's 2011 report Early Intervention: The Next Steps makes clear that the real savings from early help lay in its ability to reduce the numbers coming into care to such an extent that fewer high-cost residential facilities would be needed.

Funding and fairness key to schools debate

The speech by shadow education secretary Angela Rayner to the Labour party conference was strong on principle - whatever your view of academies, she has come out strongly in support of a particular vision of education.

Benefits of funded childcare need selling

When searching for reasons for the low take-up of funded childcare for disadvantaged two-year-olds in England, debate has focused on whether providers are being adequately remunerated to create sufficient places.

Strategy must boost youth opportunities

The government's long-awaited Civil Society Strategy recognises the "transformational impact that youth services and trained youth workers" can have on disadvantaged young people.

Letters to the Editor: Youth work focus does not go far enough

Having a statement or policy on youth work, however limited, has been a long time coming. Not since Positive for Youth have we had a definitive refresh of the government's approach to young people, and it looks like the ongoing influence of the youth voice movement, and youth services lobby, has been heard in some quarters.

Incentives are key to halt school exclusions

The education committee's report on exclusions and alternative provisions makes it abundantly clear that the current system is failing some children, and that rising exclusion rates are a reflection of this.

Lessons for commissioners from Carillion

Between the spectacle of President Trump's visit and the drama of Brexit, it would have been easy to miss the report from the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) on the lessons for politicians and public service commissioners following the collapse of Carillion.

LGA study is basis for fairer funding debate

Having worked at a senior level in a shire county (Somerset), a large city (Birmingham), and a medium-sized unitary (Dudley), I didn't need research to tell me that they are all very different.

We need a broad definition of children in need

When the government announced its review of children in need, a legal definition of children supported by social care who have safeguarding and welfare needs, we hoped it would have a wide remit and seek to understand how well these children's needs are being met.

Grenfell must bequeath legacy of collaboration

Looking for silver linings to come out of a disaster such as Grenfell Tower would be churlish. However, the way community groups and charities have responded to the tragedy, which claimed 71 lives, 19 of them children, on 14 June last year, is an example of what can be achieved when organisations work in collaboration.