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Education Secretary launches review of children’s social care.

The voice and experiences of children and young people must be at the heart of the review

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has launched (on Friday 15 January) a review of children’s social care.  Read the launch speech here.

BASW England is keen to represent the views of members in response to the chair's 'call for advice', and will be sending a collective response. Should you wish to contribute, please do so by either filling out this form, or by emailing

BASW England members have supported the call for an independent review of Children’s Social Care and we hope that the priority for the first phase of the review will focus on the needs of children and young people in care, care leavers and unregulated placements. We look forward to more detail about the review and members of the review team.

This is an opportunity for government to truly put children, young people, their families, social workers and other key stakeholders at the heart of this review and to actively listen to the experiences of those who have accessed and received social work and social care services.

It is important we celebrate all that is good about child and family social services, the strengths and positives of children’s social care, the care system as well as the challenges. The pandemic has shone a light on the excellent collaborative partnership work of social workers, children and their families and care experienced children, young people and adults.

Promoting the welfare, needs and rights of children and young people is paramount and safeguarding children, young people, their legal and human rights must remain at the core of this review.

For some children being placed in Local Authority care is the right decision and no doubt diverse models of care and support including kinship care will be considered as part of this review. Permanency takes many forms, and it is important that a child centred approach based on the individual and unique needs of every child is integrated into all models of best practice.

There are different opinions about the process of the Ministerial appointment of the Chair of the Independent Review and the actual appointment. Members have expressed concern and would have expected the Chair of a 'once in a generation' fundamental review of the children’s social care system to be someone who has publicly championed and advocated for those in the care system and has substantial direct experience of and qualifications for working within the system. That said we will actively and positively work with the Review to ensure that the views of the professional body and our members are heard.  We need to work together to co-produce a better future for the children and families receiving a service with a clear focus on improving outcomes and life chances.

BASW England’s focus is on striving to ensure that the review is as valuable and transparent as possible for children and families, and that the voice of social work expertise and ethics is heard clearly.

The Independent Care Review must focus on all children having equal accessible opportunities and creating the right opportunities and care environment for children and those caring for them to believe in their dreams, aspirations and for each child and young person to reach their full potential.

It is crucial that those with lived experience of the care system are supported to contribute to the care review – their voices should be at the very heart of the process.

If you are working with care leavers, or those with care experience, please share the following links so that they can engage in the process: