Become, the national charity for children in care and young care leavers, responds to the Government’s implementation proposals for children’s social care following the Independent Review published in May 2022.
- The Government has set out an ambitious vision to put love and stability at the heart of children’s social care, but their proposed implementation plan is lacking the urgent action and investment needed to make this vision a reality.
- We have record numbers of children (over 82,000) in a care system that is overwhelmed to crisis point and failing children every day.
- Charity extremely disappointed that the Government is choosing to invest so little in our country’s most vulnerable children.
- Some proposals welcomed – including steps in the right direction to #EndTheCareCliff faced by young people leaving care – but plans must go further and faster.
- This next stage of the process is critical and young people with lived experience must be actively and meaningfully involved.
The charity, which is the only national organisation that solely supports and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with care-experienced children and young people, welcomes the Government’s acknowledgement that the care system needs significant improvement – but says that the plans do not go far enough to meet the ambition of a care system that provides love, stability, and a place for children to recover and thrive.
There are elements of the Government’s plans that will make a difference, including steps in the right direction to #EndTheCareCliff of support that young people leaving the system experience. But there is little here to tackle the big issue of instability in the system, which currently sees 7 in 10 children in care experiencing a change in home, school, or social worker each year – and 16- and 17-year-olds will still not be getting the care they deserve.
Behind the Government’s words sit plans that will take a long time to be implemented and, in the meantime, the proposed small-scale pilots and limited resources will not bring the urgent change needed for children in the care system right now.
Katharine Sacks-Jones, CEO at Become, the national charity for children in care and young care leavers, says:
“The Government has set out an ambitious vision to put love and stability at the heart of children’s social care, but their proposed implementation plan is lacking the urgent action and investment needed to make this vision a reality. They’re effectively putting over 82,000 children in care at the bottom of the pile.
After decades of underinvestment, the care system is now in crisis and the £200 million announced today won’t even scratch the surface. We are extremely disappointed that the Government is choosing to invest so little in our country’s most vulnerable children. With rising poverty leading to even more children entering care over the coming years, pressure and instability within the system will continue to rise at an alarming rate.
While there are some proposals we welcome– including steps in the right direction to #EndTheCareCliff faced by young people leaving care – these plans must go further and faster. We need a national strategy to create more of the right homes for children to grow up and thrive in, all children receiving care up to the age of 18, and an end to the care cliff once and for all.
This is also about reforming the system. We agree with the Government – it’s wrong that taxpayers are footing the bill while millions of pounds are drained from the care system into private pockets of children’s homes providers each year. This public money must be redirected into better care for children that really need it.
The next stage of the process is critical and we want to help the Government listen to young people with lived experience, and to rework their plans where necessary so that the vision they have put forward can actually be achieved.”
For more information or to make a media enquiry, please contact Become’s Communications Manager, Amy Grant, via 07951 155367 or [email protected]
Become is the national charity for children in care and young care leavers. For 30 years, the charity has stood shoulder to shoulder with care-experienced young people, helping them get the support they need right now and changing the system for future generations.
To find out more, visit www.BecomeCharity.org.uk