Andy spoke on Sunday at a Lib Dem conference fringe on “More for Less: Improving Outcomes for Children in Care” with Annette Brooke MP, TACT CEO Kevin Williams and Fostering Network Chair Jim Bond.
It’s clear that cutting down the number of times a child moves placements would result in savings for the taxpayer.
But we also need new ideas. We need to challenge a risk averse culture that results in a lack of trust in the professionals within the child care system. We need to learn from Germany and Denmark where educational outcomes are far better. The current system means that children are often not taken into care early enough and are left for too long with parents who are unsuitable.
There’s a risk that the issue of children in care will be neglected in the face of 30-40% spending reductions. The issue is already underrepresented in the political sphere. But individuals and local authorities can still make a real difference in their areas. Mentors who work with children in their transition to adulthood, for instance, can make a real difference.