£20 million to improve children’s social care

Minister for Children and Families Robert Goodwill has launched a £20 million initiative to improve the lives of vulnerable children and families.

Announced at the National Children and Adults Services (NCAS) conference, Goodwill said the £20 million would help councils improve their services, predominantly focusing on making sure those at risk of failure can make vital improvements.

The programme includes tailored peer support for local authorities, bringing in more councils to the successful Partners in Practice programme, as well as the testing of ‘Regional Improvement Alliances’, made up of neighbouring local authorities. Wth the aim of setting one up in every region by April 2018, the alliances will enable local authorities to assess their own performance, and to challenge the performance of regional peers.

Goodwill said: “There is nothing more important than the safety and wellbeing of children. Yet, too many young people, and their families, are being let down by poor quality services – or worse, left at risk of harm. That is why we must take decisive action where performance is not good enough.

“Our interventions programme is yielding real results: 36 local authorities have been lifted out of intervention since 2010 and we are seeing a positive impact from the independent children’s social care trusts that we have set up in Doncaster and Slough. My commitment is that we will build a self-improving system, one that spots where challenges are emerging, and quickly puts the right support in place.”