This week I submitted Pause’s response to the Care Review’s Case for Change, an independent review of children’s social care. The Case for Change is the review’s early thinking about what needs to change in the system. Over the last few weeks, we have explored our four recommendations to the Care Review and are pleased to feedback on the Care Review’s initial thinking.
Our feedback focused on the review’s question:
We were pleased to see that support for women after care proceedings was highlighted in the Case for Change. We know from working with women who have experienced the repeated removal of children from their care, that trauma-informed and early intervention support is crucial to them. Yet, a number of factors impact the extent to which this support is available and accessible, despite the evidenced positive outcomes of such services.
In our response, we addressed the lack of data as well as the lack of understanding of need and scale of this matter, which makes it difficult to learn lessons and ensure post-removal support exists widely. The absence of statutory duty on local authorities to provide post-removal support, means that women working with Pause fall through the gaps in services and, as identified in scoping exercise carried out by Pause, in some cases die prematurely before they can receive the necessary support. In our recommendations to the Care Review, we highlight how data often drives change in systems. We recommend that information about parents who experience the removal of a child should be gathered and published nationally each year, potentially through the SSDA903 process.
We know that for services that support parents who have experienced the removal of a child from their care more than once to become widely available, current funding decisions must be long-term in order for services to be sustainable. This was clearly evidenced in the evaluation of Pause, as continuous and secure funding is important for services predicated on building safe and stable relationships through long-term intensive work. Pause has set up 38 practices, of which nine have had to close (despite showing positive outcomes) because our local delivery partners could not secure the funding to continue. To counter this, there needs to be sustained investment in services and programmes that work, in order to incorporate them into the mainstream across the country. This includes sufficient funding for innovations that have a proven evidence base.
We look forward to continuing to engage with the Care Review and supporting women who work with Pause to get their voices heard by the Care Review, to help drive change in the system where it is needed.
As always, we are grateful to the women we work with, who shared their lives, thoughts and experiences with us in the development of our recommendations.
You can read our recommendations to the Care Review in full here: Pause’s key messages and recommendations for The Care Review – Pause – Creating Space for Change
If you have any questions or would like any more information, get in touch with us via firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find out more about the Care Review on Twitter @ReviewCSC
Omolade Adedapo, Policy and Public Affairs Officer