Having a focus on Residential Child Care NCERCC here responds solely to the section ‘What changes do we need to make to ensure we have the right homes in the right places with the right support? What should the role of residential care be in future?’
Residential Child Care = pages 23 and 24
Extracts from the Care Review document are here in italics.
NCERCC responds with the words ‘And so …?
It is extremely disappointing that the reportback is minimal, in itself, and compared to other elements of care.
It is extremely disappointing that nothing was included regarding relationships in Residential Child Care (though is regarding other elements of care)
It is extremely disappointing that the report back does not include some of the public comments made by the lead reviewer, for example, it was refreshing to hear the lead for the Care Review talking at an Education Select Committee that he understands the outcomes that have been pinned to children’s homes are not necessarily caused by them but are, using his word, ‘upstream’. That is, children’s homes frequently can inherit the previous failings of others. His advocacy was supported by another speaker.
What changes do we need to make to ensure we have the right homes in the right places with the right support? What should the role of residential care be in future?’
The responses we received to this question generally supported the view that there are too few homes in the right places, which offer the right type of support. A number of responses focussed on the need for more specialist accommodation to be made available to different cohorts of children with complex needs. (This last sentence is the one ray of Hope).
And so …?
Extract Care Review document
Responses also focussed on the commissioning, oversight and accountability of residential care, including how the quality of residential care could be improved through alternative inspection and monitoring arrangements.
NCERCC has written for decades regarding and supports the response, ‘The DfE and DHSC and Home Office need to take more responsibility for commissioning specialist placements for those with the most complex and acute needs …’
… some responses commented on the support young people receive before moving into a residential home or foster care placement, which included giving children and young people a say over the place and people they live with.
And so… ?
After this short attention the focus moves to housing and accommodation. This is a drift NCERCC has been observing elsewhere eg the emerging dominant focus of Staying Close
What did we miss or misunderstand in Chapter Four?
One area that respondents felt that the Case for Change was missing was the importance of children’s rights, independent advocacy and listening to the views of children and young people in all decisions which affect them.
We are unequivocal in our support for the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child, but are also clear that on its own it will not be enough to ensure that all children grow up in loving, stable, safe homes – for this we need to go beyond rights and into the relationships that children need in their lives.
And so …?