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Care Review: BASW England 'Call for Ideas' submission

BASW England has been strongly encouraging members to share their views - and we've also put together our own submission, which you can read below...

The Review of Children's Social Care in England recently put out a call for ideas around how to improve children’s social care.

BASW England has been strongly encouraging members to share their views - and we've also put together our own submission, which you can read below: 

Call for ideas: BASW England submission

Rather than devise novel ideas as to changes we would like to see in the care system, BASW England reiterates that for the review to have credibility, our previously outlined 10 priority areas must be taken seriously.

Steps towards reducing poverty and poor housing are a pre-requisite for improving the wellbeing of children and families needing social work services. Beyond this, lasting change cannot occur in a child welfare system starved of resources. Adequate reliable funding is essential to allow each local authority to provide seamless, relationship-based services from the early stages of stress through protective, court and looked after services. A decade of austerity has left social workers practising in conditions which not only fail to meet the complex needs of children and families, but are increasingly unsafe and result in poor rates of retention.

Adopting a childrens-rights based approach must also be front and centre of the review. Members have been deeply concerned by the rhetoric that practitioners must choose between relationship-based practice and upholding human rights; this is a grave fallacy. Both are essential and cannot exist without the other. Depriving children of rights engenders a culture whereby profit is prioritised over children. On this note, ensuring children are cared for until the age of 18 and outlawing unregulated placements is a tangible way the review can improve the lives of looked after children.

Crucially, plans must be put in place to ensure all services embody anti-racist, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive values at every stage of delivery.