THE CHANGES WE WANT TO SEE – messages from care and the care sector

“As Children’s Commissioner I have, all too often, borne witness to the devastation that results from adults neglecting to listen to a child’s voice. A fraught care-planning process will, quite rightly, incite loud debate among professionals and relatives alike. However, it is crucial that the young person’s voice does not get lost amid this noise; when a child is made to feel invisible, opportunities to protect them become easy to miss.

Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England

our ambitions

  1. The rights of children are a central focus in all decision making about matters of importance to every child.
  2. Increased participation of children in their care plans for their lives, including consistently meaningful participation in all meetings.
  3. Children’s voices are consistently sought and heard – there is evidence that their wishes and feelings influence their care plans.
  4. Championing the rights of every child and challenging where appropriate to ensure these are integrated in policy and practice. 
  5. Children’s views, wishes and ideas inform continuous improvements to service design and delivery.
  6. Young people are involved in the design and delivery of corporate parenting messages.
  7. IROs will ensure all options for care by family have been considered. 
  8. IROs will ensure children’s return home to family is considered and pursued without delay where this is in the best interests of the child.
  9. IROs will ensure that the legal status of every child in care is appropriate and that the correct steps have been taken to secure the immigration status of every child in care.
  10. IROs will ensure that robust plans are made in good time as young people approach adulthood.
  11. IROs will ensure that the care of children with additional needs and children in secure establishments are fully recognised and met.
  12. Relationship building within and between agencies, with the family justice system; within families and, between families and practitioners will be prioritised.
  13. Partnership with parents and viewing long term voluntary accommodation and shared care (between extended family and state) as a valuable alternative to Court.
  14. A national learning programme for IROs, to help develop the consistency of practice within and between local authorities across England.
  15. Sufficient financial, organisational and staff resources and support for IROs. All IRO services should have the necessary systems in place to enable them to carry out all their statutory support, scrutiny and challenge functions.


Children and young people’s views on what is important

GET: Children & young people’s views

GET: Strategic Priorities Young Person’s version


Messages from Care and the Care Sector

GET: Messages from Care and the Care Sector

GET: Strategic Priorities 2019 – 2022