Opinion

Impact of the SIF will be felt for many years

By Derren Hayes |

02 January 2018

Two years ago, Ofsted national director for social care Eleanor Schooling said she expected children's services judgments under the single inspection framework (SIF) to begin improving.

Mental health reforms can't wait until 2023

By Anna Feuchtwang |

02 January 2018

After all the talking and all the waiting it was great to finally see the green paper on children's mental health published in December. But it was like unwrapping a Christmas gift from someone who doesn't know you very well: you're excited to get anything, grateful they thought of you, then disappointed that you didn't get exactly what you wanted.

England is out of kilter on youth policy

By Howard Williamson |

02 January 2018

At the end of last year, Tracey Crouch, England's youth minister, announced the shelving of plans for a new three-year youth policy statement, despite this being promised by her predecessor a year ago. The argument was that a broader civil society strategy was needed instead, one that embraced much more than youth work and youth policy.

Children Act well-intentioned duty now unrealistic

By Jacky Tiotto |

28 November 2017

Often while walking between meetings my mind wanders back to the now familiar place it likes to pause: how to reconcile rising demand and reducing resource with high expectations that local authorities can and will minimise error in our child protection system.

Fears over universal credit demand action

By Paul Ennals |

28 November 2017

The impact on poor people of the rollout of universal credit - the minimum six-week delay in receiving the first payment, the reduced amount that most claimants receive, the frequent slide into debt - is well known. But its impact on child protection has been largely overlooked.

Government must commit to make PSHE mandatory

By Derren Hayes |

28 November 2017

One of the watershed moments of 2017 for the children's sector was the government's decision in March to legislate for the introduction of age-appropriate relationships and sex education (RSE).

Services are at a tipping point from austerity

By Kathy Evans |

31 October 2017

Over recent months there has been a big head of steam building to put pressure on the government to tackle the children's services funding crisis in the next Budget.

Any whiff of abuse must be reported

By John Freeman |

31 October 2017

Last month, I attended part of the IICSA hearings into Rochdale and Cyril Smith.

Police show why early help is everyone's duty

By Derren Hayes |

31 October 2017

In a passionate address at the recent National Children and Adult Services Conference, Stuart Gallimore, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Children's Services (ADCS), explained that cuts to his budget in East Sussex means he will have to make decisions about provision he knows don't "make sense" in the long run. He, like other DCSs, faces the dilemma to reduce funding to early help provision to maintain services for children in care and at risk - knowing that doing so could raise the vulnerability of those whose problems are less severe.

Mental health paper must join up provision

By Anna Feuchtwang |

26 September 2017

The government is due to publish a green paper on children's mental health this autumn.