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Independent research recommends Care Services are in urgent need of investment and reform.

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The Case for Change, an Independent Review of Children’s Social Care Report investigated Child Protection Services in England.

According to a BBC News article written by Alison Holt Social Affairs Correspondent (June 2021) the system is under significant strain. With more families being investigated and more children in care the costs are spiralling.  

Josh MacAlister who chaired the Independent Review said in the report “if we carry on like this, children’s social care will both become more expensive and continue to be inadequate in the support it gives to children and families. So we need to change.”

According to the Independent Review deprivation was a key factor among families needing help. Families who sought help from the system found assessments and investigations added to their stress. The report concluded services to protect vulnerable children are in urgent need of investment and reform. If you would like to know more the full report can be found here The Independent Review Report.

Over the years the system has seen an increase of children in the system. 

The Report shows at a glance the increase of case in 2019/20 compared to 2009/10.

There has been a 7% increase in referrals made in 2019/20 leading to a total of 642,980 referrals in in 2019/20.

There has been a 4% rise, a total of 389,260 children subject to children in need plans.

There has been a significant increase of 129% in Section 47 inquiries, these figures have more than doubled since 2010 rising to 201,000 investigations in a year.

Child Protection Plans have also increased by 32% with 51,510 children on Child Protection Plans.

Looked after children figures have also surged up 24% since 2009/10 totalling to 80,080 children in the care of Local Authorities.

NSPCC Chief Executive Sir Peter Wanless said the review should seize a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to create a “a comprehensive, properly-funded care system that works for every child and family who needs it, regardless of their background of where they live”.

Covid has also had significant impact on the Care System.

Mark Russell, Chief Executive at The Children’s Society, said children’s social care was “hamstrung” by under-investment and bureaucracy, too often intervened only at “crisis point”, and had “serious systemic flaws” including a lack of understanding of threats outside the home. “Covid has left more children at risk of abuse, exploitation, isolation, mental ill-health and poverty,” he said, with vulnerable older children being failed as they enter adulthood.

The Government said it was giving councils an extra £16m to target more support earlier in the lives of children already in the care system. The Government is also planning a pilot scheme to increase educational help.

The independent review will publish its final report making recommendations for change, next spring.

If you have Local Authority involvement with your children at Child Protection level ranging through to Care Proceedings in the Family Court then Johnson Astills can assist you. We have experience in assisting parents at all stages of Local Authority involvement. Please contact Johnson Astills at either our Leicester Office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough Office on 01509 610 312 and ask for a member of the Care Team so that we can advise you accordingly. Alternatively, please visit either of the above offices or email us on careteam@johnsonastills.com and a member of our team will be