New report, Putting Children First, outlines changes to social care

The Government’s report: Delivering our vision for excellent children’s social care was released in last month (July 2016). Back in January 2016 the Department for Education published Children's social care reform: a vision for change, setting out its plans for improving the quality of children's social care services in England over the next 5 years.

Putting children first: delivering our vision for excellent children's social care outlines how these changes will be made. It builds on Adoption: a vision for change, published in March 2016, and responds to the recent review of residential care by Sir Martin Narey and review of multi-agency arrangements for safeguarding children by Alan Wood CBE. The plan is built around three main pillars of reform:

  • people and leadership
  • practice and systems
  • governance and accountability

The Government will seek to encourage new delivery models for children's social care services, to bid for Innovation Programme funding. It also aims to carry out a review of the role of the local authority in relation to children, with an advisory board led by Alan Wood CBE. It will also introduce new inspection arrangements, currently being consulted on by Ofsted, which will actively support excellent social work practice and innovation. A further aim is to introduce a stronger statutory framework for multi-agency safeguarding arrangements, including greater accountability for local authorities, health services and the police and shift the focus away from the government intervention where there is failure, towards supporting the spread of excellence.

ACP member with over twenty years experience of working with looked after children, said: "The report highlights the need to address underlying issues and to take time to understand these and work creatively to engage these children, young people and their carers. This means having access to specialists such as psychoanalytic child psychotherapists, who can provide therapy and support but also manage the level of complexity and distress. Many social care colleagues are reporting cuts to services, so we very much hope that more resources will be available to core services in addition to innovative projects, to support this vision."

Read the NSPCC summary here.