The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care final report has been issued after a year of research into the current system and sharing proposals for a reset on the social care system. The review was commissioned as part of the government’s manifesto of 2019 stating their commitment to making sure that children and young people get the support that they need. Josh McAllister headed up the review and the team engaged with 2,000 people with lived experience and 2,800 people working with children and families as well as visits to providers and deep dives into areas that are currently doing well to inform their thinking.
The review states that when children’s social care puts effort and money into helping families, it helps children. More help for families means more children staying safely at home, doing better at school, being healthy, and achieving their potential. The review has proposed a new definition of Family Help that is easier for families and professionals to understand and collaborate on.
The review’s broader recommendations on Family Help, if properly implemented, will provide a step change in how disabled children and their families experience children’s social care - reducing the stigma of asking for help; increasing the intensity of support provided for families; setting clearer, more transparent eligibility for support; and reducing the number of handovers families experience between services. The review calls for the Director of Children’s Services in local authorities to have a clear role as a champion for children and families, for the government to set out its plan to ensure that the SEND reforms are aligned to this review, and for the law commission to review the legislation that exists to support disabled children and their families.
There are significant monetary implications of the recommendations and in a time of economic uncertainty it is hoped that the government are prepared to act so that young people and their families will see better support in every region.