Comment on a report on care proceedings in England

Charlotte Ramsden, Chair of the ADCS Health, Care and Additional Needs Policy Committee, said:

“Most children live in their families and thrive but a rising number of care proceedings in recent years shows that local authorities remain committed to taking prompt action to remove children from dangerous situations when necessary. However, this has placed increased pressure on the child protection and care systems as funding has declined and need increases. The paper is a helpful contribution to the current debates about the rise in care proceedings, the reasons behind the increase and what we should do as a result. It notes that a significant proportion of the cases that end up before courts could go ‘either way’ and should be diverted away from courts and suggests that without services that support children and parents close to the ‘thin red line’ more families will eventually cross it. However, the report fails to recognise that councils are also being forced to cut the very services that help keep children and families together due to rising demand for statutory child protection services and diminished budgets. The endorsement of the No Order Principle for children and families is welcome as is the message about the importance of testing promising approaches to support families to secure lasting change. It is crucial that this work is resourced appropriately. Many of the report’s recommendations seem sensible; we’d welcome further discussions with relevant partners and government departments on developing models of shared care that enable children to stay within wider family networks where appropriate as well the notion of sharing learning and good practice.”

ENDS



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