Care Review, England 2021

  • FosterWiki
  • Author:FosterWiki
  • Published:18/10/2021
  • Country: United Kingdom

FosterWiki looks at the 2021 Care Review of children’s social care, its primary themes and questions, industry statements and comments from foster carers.

Care Review England 2021

Introduction to Care Review, England 2021

On 1st March 2021, the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care was launched. The government said the intention of the review is to radically reform the system, improving the lives of England’s most vulnerable children so they experience the benefits of a stable, loving home.

The Chair of the review is Josh MacAlister, a former teacher, Mr MacAlister founded the social work charity Frontline in 2013. He stood down from his role as Chief Executive to lead the review.

The government state their intention is the review will reshape how children interact with the care system, looking at the process from referral through to becoming looked after. It will address major challenges such as the increase in numbers of looked after children, the inconsistencies in children’s social care practice, outcomes across the country, and the failure of the system to provide enough stable homes for children.

They state that running throughout the review will be the voices and experiences of children, young people or adults who have been looked after, or who have received help or support from a social worker. Their experiences will be considered and reflected sensitively and appropriately, with their views included in full in the work. The review launched a ‘Call for Advice’ to help shape the early work of the review and invited applications for ‘Experts by Experience’, a group to advise him on how to include the voices of people with a ‘lived experience’ of the children’s social care system. The review says it intends to consult widely and bring in a broad range of expertise.

The Care Review’s themes and questions

  1. Support: what support is needed to meet the needs of children who are referred to or involved with social care, in order to improve outcomes and make a long-term positive difference to individuals and to society?
  2. Strengthening families: what can be done so that children are supported to stay safe and thrive with their families, to ensure the exceptional powers that are granted to the state to support and intervene in families are consistently used responsibly, balancing the need to protect children with the right to family life, avoiding the need to enter care?
  3. Safety: what can be done so that children who need to be in care get there quickly, and to ensure those children feel safe and are not at risk of significant harm?
  4. Care: what is needed for children to have a positive experience of care that prioritises stability, providing an alternative long-term family for children who need it and support for others to return home safely?
  5. Delivery: what are the key enablers to implement the review and raise standards across England, such as a strong, stable and resilient workforce, system leadership and partnerships, and what is needed so that this change can be delivered?
  6. Sustainability: what is the most sustainable and cost-effective way of delivering services, including high-cost services, who is best placed to deliver them, and how could this be improved so that they are fit for the future?
  7. Accountability: what accountability arrangements are necessary to ensure that the state can act appropriately, balancing the need to protect and promote the welfare of children with the importance of parental responsibility, and what is needed to ensure proper oversight of how local areas discharge those responsibilities consistently?

The review says it will engage with children, young people, and adults with direct experience of children’s social care, in order to ensure those individuals’ views and lived experience are fully embedded in the review’s work.

The review will report to ministers and the government will publish a report and response.

What the industry says

What foster carers say

2021 Care Care review England Foster Carer Fostering Josh MacAlister