County leaders in Britain have called for an “unrelenting focus on keeping families together” wherever possible, following budget cuts which have left councils unable to sustain the vast volume of child protection investigations and care plans initiated by local authorities.
While the move to try and keep families together should be welcomed, the decision itself has stemmed from concern among social care stakeholders that their jobs are at risk following ongoing council budget cuts by the government, rather than a genuine desire to do the right thing by children and their families.
This is an important distinction, and one to keep in mind over the next few months as the landscape of children’s social care is debated and potentially reformed through an economic lens rather than a social justice one.
As the press release for the County Councils Network (CCN) notes, children being taken into care are the most expensive decisions for local authorities.
And now that jobs may be lost, stakeholders are looking for ways to justify funding for other forms of care. The trouble is, most support services on offer are still not good enough and need to be fully reviewed, and where necessary replaced with support that actually works.
The comment by county leaders to try to keep families in need together follows a report produced by the CCN which found that the number of children in care could rise to 95,000 by 2025, up from 69,000 in 2015.
Many thanks to Tum Mum for sharing this press release with us.