Independent review of Children's Social Care is a valuable opportunity for reform say Newcastle Liberal Democrats.
May 24, 2022 12:08 PM
The long awaited review Independent Review of Children's Social Care (the McAlister Report) just published is impressive and offers an excellent opportunity to reset systemic failings in children's services. It sets out a clear plan to address the crisis in children's social care capacity to support looked after children and tackle persistently poor outcomes for children in care, says the Liberal Democrats Opposition spokesperson for children and families on Newcastle City Council Cllr Christine Morrissey.
"The report's emphasis on supporting wider family networks to care for children is hugely welcome, and the recommendation to give kinship carers the same entitlement to financial support as foster carers is something the Liberal Democrats Opposition has been pressing the council on for several years.
"We fully recognise the importance of reforming social work structures to focus on community-based support for families to enable those who need help receive more responsive, respectful, and effective support. This matches our assessment of the need in Newcastle.
"We support the need to address the failure of the residential care market, which has been allowed to outsource specialist residential care to providers who make significant profits but do not achieve significant outcomes for looked after children. A regional approach to adoption services has worked, and a regional cooperative approach to fostering and residential care is the right way to address this.
"We also strongly endorse the need to improve and better co-ordinate support and outcomes for care leavers.
"Children's social care forms a very significant share of overall local authority annual spending, but it has seen capacity decrease in an era of ever-increasing demand pressures. The review identifies that change is needed to address an unsustainable model, and that significant Government funding will be required to implement the necessary reforms.
"Liberal Democrats are in no doubt that children's social care is an essential part of the equation, but it must be accompanied by a major change in local and national approaches to child poverty and enhancing life chances.
"We look forward to Newcastle City Council's and the Government's response to the review, and trust that both will engage fully with this valuable opportunity for reform," said Cllr Morrissey