Children's services

Radical changes needed in children's social care, review urges

23/05/2022

Ministers face a ‘pivotal’ moment in children’s social care, with radical changes needed to stop tens of thousands more youngsters entering the system, an independent review has warned.

Children’s services in Manchester rated ‘Good’

20/05/2022

Children’s services delivered by Manchester council have been rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted for the first time since the body started inspecting council services.

Children’s care services ‘stuck in crisis mode’

20/05/2022

Council chiefs call for reform of the children’s social care system as spending to provide support to vulnerable children increases by a quarter in five years.

Improvements in Torbay Council’s children’s services ‘impressive’, Ofsted say

19/05/2022

Torbay Council’s children’s services have ‘significantly improved’ after years of underperforming, an Ofsted inspection has concluded.

Children ‘bounced around’ care system

06/05/2022

Research by the charity Barnardo’s has found young people are facing frequent changes of home, school and social workers.

Report calls for a national audit on needs of children in care

13/04/2022

There needs to be a national audit around the needs of children in care, a new study from Ofsted has said today.

Government intervenes over council's 'inadequate' children's services

11/04/2022

The Government has issued a statutory direction to Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council forcing it to improve its children’s social care services.

'Alarmingly high' numbers of exploited looked-after-children going missing from care

21/03/2022

Nearly half of looked-after-children that have experienced criminal or sexual exploitation went missing from care in 2020, charities have warned.

Care home closed after children revealed to be ‘at risk’

15/03/2022

A care home in Northern Ireland has been criticised after an inspection revealed that vulnerable children were ‘at risk’.

Councils warn of 'staffing crisis' amid exodus

03/03/2022

Councils have warned of a ‘staffing crisis’ as the number of children and family social workers quitting the profession hits a five-year high.

New £160m fund to support adoptive families

03/03/2022

A new £160m fund has been announced by the Government to help children in care find adopted families more quickly.

Teenagers at risk of exploitation due to 'decade-long breakdown in help'

02/03/2022

Thousands of teenagers from all backgrounds are at risk from exploitation, grooming and harm because their families aren’t getting the support they need, a report has warned today.

Solihull ordered to improve children's services

01/03/2022

The Government has ordered Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to make urgent improvements to its children’s social care services following ‘serious’ concerns over how it protects vulnerable children.

Thousands of children missing out on vital early years help, charity finds

28/02/2022

Hundreds of thousands of children who missed out on early help services are being re-referred to social care within a year, new research has found.

Research finds one in 10 children in care have unresolved immigration issues

18/02/2022

At least one in every 10 children in the care system have unresolved immigration or citizenship issues, a new report has found.

Home Office directs 29 local authorities to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children

16/02/2022

The Home Office has written to 29 local authorities directing them to help unaccompanied asylum seeking children.

Wales to trial Basic Income pilot for care leavers

16/02/2022

A Basic Income pilot for all young people leaving care will be piloted across Wales.

Social workers report 'surge' in children with mental health needs

04/02/2022

The number of children being assessed by social workers as having a mental health need has increased by a quarter as a result of the pandemic, social workers have warned.

Call to end 'patchy' support for children affected by domestic abuse

01/02/2022

Police in England and Wales made almost a quarter of a million referrals to social services for domestic abuse in 2020/21, a charity has uncovered.

Trust for children's services at Star Hobson council

25/01/2022

Bradford Council’s children’s services will be transferred to a not-for-profit trust following the tragic death of Star Hobson.

A third of care leavers say they left care before they were ready

19/01/2022

More than a third of care leavers feel they left care too early, a new survey has revealed today.

Care system putting teenagers in 'danger' report warns

04/01/2022

The care system is 'unfit for purpose' and is putting vulnerable teenagers at risk of exploitation and crime, a new report has warned.

Shortcomings revealed in second child murder case

14/12/2021

A second court case in a month has revealed serious shortcomings in how local agencies responded to allegations of abuse shortly before a child’s murder.

Spielman: No silver bullet for children's social care

07/12/2021

Ofsted chief inspector Amanda Spielman has warned there is no ‘silver bullet’ to the long-term problems in the children’s social care sector.

National review launched in wake of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes murder

06/12/2021

A national review and local inspection will take place following the murder of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes has been announced by the Government.

'Crumbling' fostering system failing vulnerable children

06/12/2021

Urgent action is needed to fix the 'crumbling and failing' fostering system, a charity has warned.

Council pledges to support children after services rated ‘inadequate’

29/11/2021

The leadership of North East Lincolnshire Council has pledged to protect and support young people after the local authority’s children’s services were judged ‘inadequate’.

Two councils to pilot new approach to children’s care

26/11/2021

Two local authorities in Wales will pilot a new approach to helping families where there are concerns about substance misuse.

LGA warning over soaring care costs

23/11/2021

Soaring adult and children’s care costs mean councils could ‘soon fail to support everyone they need to,’ town halls have warned.

Young people call for an end to the 'postcode lottery' in care system

28/10/2021

Care often feels like an unfair 'postcode lottery' even within the same local authority, children and young people have warned in a report.

Budget 2021: More money for youth services and 'family hubs'

27/10/2021

A £560m cash injection for youth services and the funding of ‘family hubs’ in England to support children and parents have been confirmed in today’s Budget.

What does local government hope to get from the Spending Review?

25/10/2021

From a a multi-year funding settlement to fixing the social care crisis, William Eichler explores what local government is hoping to hear on Wednesday.

Study raises concern over availability and price of children’s care

22/10/2021

Local authorities are being forced to put children in unsuitable accommodation due to a shortage of suitable placements, a study has found.

Report shows Adoption Activity Days have saved £250m in care costs over past decade

22/10/2021

A charity has called for all children in care to have the opportunity to attend Adoption Activity Days (AADs), often seen as the ‘last resort’ for those who are harder to place.

Report hits out at 'dysfunctional' early childhood care system

20/10/2021

Early education and childcare is a 'dysfunctional system' that needs a radical re-think, a report has concluded today.

Sunak urged to tackle backlogs in public services or face greater costs

19/10/2021

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must swiftly invest in public services hit hardest by the pandemic or face much greater costs down the line, a report has warned.

Charity calls for every adopted child to receive life-long support

18/10/2021

The Government has been urged to make a ten-year commitment to the Adoption Support Fund to provide long-term support for adoptive families.

Think tank awards nearly £3m to improve family social policy

14/10/2021

The Nuffield Foundation has awarded £2.8m to support an innovative collaboration between local authorities and universities to learn more about how data is used in child and family social policy.

System 'failing' thousands of children affected by modern slavery

05/10/2021

Thousands of children affected by modern slavery are being 'overlooked and forgotten' by the system, a charity has said.

A third of kinship carers warn children are missing support

29/09/2021

Thousands of vulnerable children being looked after by kinship carers are not getting the support they need, a new survey has revealed.

Why a new law discriminates against over-16s in care

22/09/2021

Malcolm Johnson warns that a new law governing decisions about children in care in England could put vulnerable 16 and 17 year-olds at risk.

Charity calls for minimum service guarantee on early years support

21/09/2021

A new report has warned that 4.3 million parents are missing out on early years support services despite needing help.

Charity warns children needing care rises by a third

07/09/2021

The number of children being referred to its fostering service has risen by a third in the past year, a charity has warned.

SEND children being left behind by council

31/08/2021

Children with special educational needs are being left behind by council services across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, inspectors have found. 

Calls for more funding as child abuse increases

20/08/2021

Incidents involving death or serious harm to a child have risen in the past year, leading to calls for further funding.

Children's services in Sunderland leap from Inadequate to Outstanding

20/08/2021

Children's services in Sunderland, delivered by Together for Children, are the first in the country to make the leap from Inadequate to Outstanding.

Research finds long-lasting benefits from Sure Start

16/08/2021

Sure Start centres prevented thousands of children from being hospitalised and cut health inequalities, according to new research.

The importance of clear guidance when placing vulnerable children

11/08/2021

Local authorities need clear guidance and an adjudicator for the placement of vulnerable children in care, says Lucy Harris of Forbes Solicitors.

Children abused for decades under care of Lambeth Council, inquiry finds

27/07/2021

Hundreds of children were subjected to decades of cruelty and sexual abuse while in the care of Lambeth Council, a damning inquiry has found.

Government to invest £45m to improve adoption services

26/07/2021

A new national strategy to end the ‘postcode lottery’ in adoption services has been launched by the Government.

Children's social care review reveals system in urgent need of reform

23/07/2021

Jo Porter outlines how local authorities can maximise the chance of identifying the families that need assistance and provide the necessary support.

Children’s services spending slashed in half, charities warn

15/07/2021

Council spending on crucial services that help stop children reaching crisis point has almost halved over the last decade, new research has revealed.

How to make life good for children in care and care leavers

21/06/2021

Dr. Claire Baker and Linda Briheim-Crookall examine how sharing local authority best practice can boost the well-being of children in care.

Most children in care feel safe where they live

21/06/2021

A new survey has found that while the majority of children in social care settings are happy where they live, nearly one in 20 regularly feel unsafe.

Government announces £16m for virtual school heads programme

17/06/2021

The Government today announced that more than £16m is now available to councils to ensure there is a local champion for children with a social worker in every local authority in England.

Children's social care a 'Jenga held together with Sellotape' says damning review

17/06/2021

The children's social care system is too focused on investigating families rather than providing them with support, according to an independent review of services.

SEND services in Suffolk to be reviewed

15/06/2021

An independent review into Suffolk County Council’s special educational needs and disability services is to be conducted following criticisms by families.

County at 'unsafe capacity' for caring for lone child migrants

14/06/2021

Kent County Council has warned it has reached capacity for caring for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children (UASC) for the second time in a year.

Patel reveals rota replacement scheme for unaccompanied asylum seeking children

10/06/2021

A new rota scheme will better distribute responsibility for unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) among councils, home secretary Priti Patel has revealed.

Newborn baby care orders on the rise, research finds

04/06/2021

The majority of mothers facing urgent care proceedings are given less than a week’s formal notice that their newborn baby might be removed, new research has warned today.

Children’s social care services ‘creative’ during pandemic, study finds

03/06/2021

A new study has found that children’s social care services have been ‘flexible’ and ‘creative’ in their responses to supporting care leavers during the pandemic, but it also found COVID-19 has exposed fragility in current systems.

Councils should have legal duty to provide ‘early help’ says report

02/06/2021

A new report is calling for a legal duty on local authorities to provide early help to children and families, rather than providing what is easiest to measure.

Charity calls for ‘fair’ financial support for kinship carers

01/06/2021

A charity has called on the Government to ensure that kinship carers receive the same amount of financial support as foster carers.

Care leavers moved into unsafe and unhealthy homes, says charity

25/05/2021

Many young people leaving the care system are being forced to live in unsafe and unsuitable accommodation, a charity has warned today.

Government announces £50m boost for care leavers

24/05/2021

The Government today announced a £51m funding boost to help councils support care leavers and have launched a consultation on improving the quality of housing for those leaving care.

Grenfell director dismissed while on sick leave, tribunal hears

20/04/2021

A council director who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after working on the Grenfell Tower response was dismissed while on sick leave, an employment tribunal has heard.

Councils call for long-term plan to tackle education inequalities

25/03/2021

Education inequalities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic are unlikely to be solved by a quick “catch-up” initiative, council leaders have warned today.

Call for Beveridge report for children

16/03/2021

A 'once-in-a-generation review' of the future of childhood has been launched by the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Investigation launched into children’s care market

12/03/2021

A study into the increasing costs in children’s social care provision and lack of appropriate placements has been launched by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Ombudsman criticises council for failing to investigate mother’s complaint

11/03/2021

Isle of Wight Council has been criticised for failing to properly investigate a mother’s complaint about the way it removed her disabled son’s personal budget.

Home secretary announces £23m to tackle exploitation of young people

08/03/2021

A children’s charity has called for a national strategy to provide help for children at risk of exploitation rather than a strategy focusing on ‘hot spots’.

Children’s services face £824m budget gap

24/02/2021

A funding shortfall of £824m is being faced by children’s services, according to research published today.

Government bans unregulated accommodation for vulnerable children

19/02/2021

Placing vulnerable children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation will be made illegal from September, the Government has announced.

Government announces £35.5m to tackle violence at local level

09/02/2021

Local communities are set to benefit from a multi-million-pound funding boost to help support measures tackling serious violence.

Report calls for a joined up public health approach to gangs

08/02/2021

Local authorities are failing to tackle the key drivers for youth violence in their areas, the Children's Commissioner has warned in a new report.

Councils warn of 'harrowing' rise in serious child harm cases during pandemic

05/02/2021

The number of serious child-related incidents reported by councils has risen by more than a quarter during the pandemic, new figures show.

The biggest providers of children's care placements report £216m profits

29/01/2021

The six biggest independent providers of children’s residential and fostering placements made £219m in profit last year, a new report has found.

Pandemic could impact children's mental health for years, report warns

28/01/2021

Damage to children's mental health caused by lockdown and school closures could last for years, the Children’s Commissioner has warned today.

Review pledges to radically reform children's social care

15/01/2021

Council chiefs have welcomed the launch of an independent review into children’s social care.

Westminster Family Hubs lead the way - from partnerships to integration

18/12/2020

Jayne Vertkin explains how Family Hubs in Westminster are transforming families’ experience of services, making early help easier to access.

West Sussex to keep control of children’s services for at least 12 months

11/12/2020

West Sussex County Council will keep control of its children’s services for at least another year following improvements made, the Department for Education (DfE) has said.

Councils caring for 16,000 more children in past decade

11/12/2020

Councils are looking after nearly 16,000 more children compared to ten years ago, new figures have revealed.

New guidance to help councils scrutinise services for children in care

10/12/2020

Councils have been urged to review their services for looked after children after a report highlighted variation in practice across the country.

Minister announces £4.4m boost to support vulnerable families

08/12/2020

The Government has announced that more than £4m will be made available to extend COVID-19 response programmes supporting vulnerable families.

'Data desert' on vulnerable children and county lines, report warns

03/12/2020

Local authorities and police forces are failing to identify the number of vulnerable children being exploited by criminal gangs, a new report has warned.

Secure children's home places 'inadequate'

02/12/2020

Young people are being ‘failed’ by a lack of places in secure children’s homes, research published today has revealed.

Pandemic made vulnerable children 'invisible' report warns

01/12/2020

Vulnerable children became 'invisible' during the pandemic, Ofsted's chief inspector warned today.

Duchess of Cambridge unveils results of UK's biggest early years study

27/11/2020

Only one in four people recognise the specific importance of the early years, according to the UK’s biggest ever study on the topic.

‘Stark variation’ in the well-being of care leavers

25/11/2020

A study has revealed there is a wide variation between the well-being of care leavers across different local authorities in England.

Councils warn about 'significant' overspends on children’s services

24/11/2020

The number of vulnerable young people referred to councils’ children’s services increased by 15% in the first three months after the first lockdown, figures have shown.

Children in care system are being 'failed by the state'

11/11/2020

Thousands of children are being failed by the ‘broken’ residential care home market, the Children’s Commissioner for England has warned today.

Ofsted warns of COVID impact on SEND support

09/11/2020

The pandemic has ‘seriously affected’ support for special educational needs an disabilities (SEND), according to Ofsted.

Managing uncertainty - Children’s services and the COVID effect

09/11/2020

Jo Porter outlines what further steps central government and local authorities should take to ensure that the wellbeing of vulnerable children is prioritised if or when referrals spike.

Spike in child abuse since pandemic

06/11/2020

Ofsted’s chief inspector has warned of an increase in the number of child injuries and deaths uncovered by local authorities since the onset of the pandemic.

Charities tell PM to protect children from ‘winter of hunger’

04/11/2020

The UK’s leading children’s charities have joined forces to urge the Government to do more to protect children this winter.

Supporting children after the second national lockdown

04/11/2020

Dr Jo Casebourne explains why more most be done to intervene at an earlier point to help the growing number of vulnerable children and families who don’t have a social worker.

Survey reveals 'worrying picture' of children's mental health

23/10/2020

One in six children now have a probable mental disorder, up from one in nine in 2017, new figures have revealed.

Local children’s services struggling to support most vulnerable, charities warn

21/10/2020

Five leading children’s charities have called on the Treasury to invest more in local children’s services which are struggling to cope with the double impact of a decade of austerity and a pandemic.

Calls for a recovery package to tackle childhood vulnerability

29/09/2020

A comprehensive recovery package is needed to help children deal with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said today.

Two-thirds of adoptive families without a support plan, report finds

29/09/2020

Thousands of vulnerable adopted children are failing to get the support they need, a charity has warned today.

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