The best interests of every child are being addressed, debated, defined, by words and deeds.
In the absence of strategy there is a plethora of often contradictory proposals each its own short-term partial mitigation of the longer-term problem arising from a lack of children’s homes in England. The solution is more children’s homes. For this we need strategy.
Here’s 2 examples
Scottish government to assist English councils placing children north of border
Deprivation of liberty orders to be recognised in Scotland automatically amid widespread shortage of provision for children with complex needs in England
“It could require English or Welsh authorities to notify the chief social work adviser in their countries – in England’s case this is likely to be a reference to children’s chief social worker Isabelle Trowler – and their Scottish counterpart. There would then be a multi-agency discussion before any placement is made.”
Anne Longfield in the Commission for Young Lives Out of harm’s way report
New care home models need to be urgently developed that keep children at their local school and in communities they know and where they have support. New local community children’s homes would be able to work therapeutically and long term with children and their families, responding to their needs. These local homes, commissioned and led by local authorities in partnership with health, schools and charities have the potential to create a new kind of support for vulnerable teenagers that provides protection whilst strengthening families. Government funds for residential care should prioritise these developments and local councils should consider using their capital funds as part of a long-term business case to improve effective support and reduce costs.
The centre cannot hold
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
(The second coming – W G Yeats)