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Independent care review will publish findings ‘early in summer’

The independent review of children’s social care will publish its findings this summer as expected, the chair of the review has announced.

Josh MacAlister said real progress had been made in the first three months of the review following intense reading, endless zoom meetings and drafting and redrafting and the findings would be shared “early in the summer”.

“I know many may question the pace and ask if we are consulting widely enough. I hear this concern and I want to reassure you that we have already had powerful and often emotional conversations with hundreds of people who have lived experience of children’s social care,” said Mr MacAlister.

“We will be continuing this engagement throughout the review and after the Case for Change is published we will be creating opportunities for everyone, including the children’s social care workforce, to help us answer the important questions posed in this paper,” he added.

The chair confirmed that last week he had visited the Aycliffe Secure Children’s Home and Bower Grove school in Kent, where he spoke to looked after children to understand their experiences of the care system. Following that he met with families in Camden who are being supported through the Changing Futures & Supporting Families work.

In the last fortnight, the review team had also:

  • Met the Drive Forward Foundation to hear about challenges that care leavers face in higher education
  • Sat in on the APPG meetings that the care leavers charity Become have organised as part of their Spotlight inquiry
  • Discussed the transition from care to adoption with Adoption UK and Home for Good
  • Met with the National Network for Parent Carer Forums to talk to parents about experiences of getting the right support for disabled children.

The independent review has also published its workforce engagement plan which outlines how the team want to tap into the insight offered by those who work with children and families.

Mr MacAlister said: “A review like this would normally take a lot longer before publishing a report. But I wanted this review to set out the problems early – giving everyone the opportunity to understand our thinking and tell us whether we have missed or misunderstood anything.”

Josh MacAlister’s blog is here

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