Putting children first: our vision for children’s social care

Source: Department for Education First published: 4 July 2016

The paper ‘Putting children first: our vision for children’s social care‘ sets out the government’s reform programme for children’s social care in England over the next 5 years.

Extract from the ‘Ministerial Foreword’ at pages 3-4:

Today we are delighted to be publishing the government’s strategy to achieve that transformation: our plan for ‘Putting Children First’. This plan involves fundamental reform of each of the three pillars on which the children’s social care system stands:

  •   first, people and leadership – bringing the best into the profession and giving them the right knowledge and skills for the challenging but hugely rewarding work ahead, and developing leaders equipped to nurture practice excellence
  •   second, practice and systems – creating the right environment for excellent practice and innovation to flourish, learning from the very best practice, and learning from when things go wrong
  •   third, governance and accountability – making sure that what we are doing is working, and developing innovative new organisational models with the potential to radically improve services.

We need a system that works for every child – whether that be a child on a child protection plan whose parents are being supported to provide them with the kind of safe and stable home environment they need; a child moving towards a loving adopted home; a disabled child who needs help from social workers to live their life to the full; or a young person leaving care who needs the continued support and guidance that other young people receive from their parents. We need to get it right for every single one of these children, and that is what our plan for ‘Putting Children First’ is designed to achieve.

Extract from ‘Letter from the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families’ at pages 6-7:

‘Putting Children First’ is the gateway to the kind of practice social workers want to be doing every day. Probably the single most refreshing thing about ‘Putting Children First’ is its central recognition that relationships and long term social connection is the cornerstone to child and family welfare. This of course goes to the core of social work. It is why social work is such a pivotal player in the public service landscape and why social work is important to government. The fantastic and inspiring Innovation Programme, our radical Partners in Practice Programme, the new power to innovate, new opportunities for post qualification CPD and specialist accreditation under a dedicated new body for social work as one profession, a new What Work’s Centre to get research into the heart of practice, are just some of the motivating changes in which government will invest. Some of you might have to suspend disbelief to become part of this progressive movement of change, and I urge you to do so. Don’t let others interpret this opportunity for you and don’t let it pass you by.

It’s an important read. You can download the full paper at source here:Putting children first: our vision for children’s social care

Keep On Caring: Supporting Young People from Care to Independence

Source: Department for Education, Cabinet Office, Department for Communities and Local Government, Department for Work and Pensions, + others  First published: 7 July 2016

The Keep on Caring paper sets out a cross-government strategy to transform support for young people leaving care. It looks at how to improve services, support and advice for care leavers and makes recommendations for local and national government, and wider sectors.

Extract from Ministerial Foreword at pages 4-5:

Firstly, it sets out how we will use the Innovation Programme to rethink how services are delivered and what support is provided, with a strong focus on finding new and better ways of helping care leavers develop the social networks that will sustain them not just in the years immediately after leaving care, but throughout their lives. We will also support new ways of delivering services, for example through Trusts, which have a clear and specific focus on improving care leavers’ life chances.

Secondly, it sets out how we will strengthen the culture of corporate parenting, both locally – through our planned legislative measures – and through changes to central government policies, so that they better respond to care leavers’ unique status and circumstances.

And finally, it sets out how we will support and challenge local areas, so that all deliver to the standards of the best.

Another important, related read. You can download the full paper at source here: Keep on Caring – Supporting Young People from Care to Independence

Other relevant publications

Government policy paper: ‘children’s social care reform: a vision for change’.

Our mission is to help bring about improvements in practice and policy. Holding children at the centre of what we do through our work with and for them, we aim to lead and promote excellent care and services. The partnership consists of an elected Chair and elected Regional Leads who represent their regions at a national level (two from each of the nine regions within England).

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