RCPCH responds to the Independent Review of Children's Social Care

On Monday 23 May 2022, the Independent Review of Children's Social Care was published. This follows a commitment from the Government in its 2019 manifesto to launch an independent review, and the authors call this a ‘moment’; ‘a once in a generation opportunity to fix child social care’.
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In their 278 pages the review team has outlined 80 recommendations across a range of areas, they've named in their chapter headings as: 

  • A revolution in Family Help
  • A just and decisive child protection system
  • Unlocking the potential of family networks
  • Fixing the broken care market and giving children a voice 
  • Five "missions", or aspirations, for care experienced people
  • Realising the potential of the workforce 
  • A system that is relentlessly focused on children and families 
  • Implementation 

You can read the final report from the review team and the executive summary on their website.

In response to the publication, Dr Alison Steele, Officer for Child Protection at RCPCH said: 

As an organisation the safeguarding of children is at our core, and it is important to see the independent review of children’s social care published. We welcome the emphasis that the independent panel gave on consulting specifically with children, young people, and people with lived experience of social care. 

The document calls this ‘a once in a generation moment to fix social care’. We agree. We have previously called on Government to provide families with the help they need, reinforce multiagency partnership working in social care, build up the infrastructure to enable information sharing across teams, as well as support the workforce with training and funding. 

The 80 recommendations are wide ranging, the College will now take time to reflect on these.  

We look forward to seeing the Government’s response to the review and urge it to take a child centred approach to policy making fortified with the necessary funding to improve the lives of children and keep them safe. There are a number of linked policies being rolled out, including integrated care systems, the SEND review, and others in the offing including the Disparities and levelling up white papers. Children across the UK are suffering following the pandemic and families are now in the midst of the soaring cost of living. 

Government must bring together all the pieces of the puzzle across social care, education, work and pensions, health and wellbeing. There’s a lot to do, and it takes a concerted effort to improve the lives of all our children, keep them safe, and maximise the life chances of those who are experiencing care.