The care system is “on the edge of a precipice” and requires urgent reform, according to the Children’s Commissioner for England.

Anne Longfield set out her vision for the future of children’s social care in a speech ahead of tomorrow’s government spending review. She accused government of negligence, highlighting a significant shortfall in support for children in care.

She called for greater investment in local authority children’s services, following a 16% fall in funding over the past decade, to combat the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vulnerable families. She also highlighted the need to divert more resources towards forms of early intervention.

The government committed to reviewing the care system in England in its election manifesto, with ministers promising a “bold, broad and independently-led” review. This much-anticipated review has been delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Adoption UK’s chief executive, Dr Sue Armstrong Brown, said: “Mental ill-health, addiction and domestic violence push children into the care system. The pandemic has exacerbated all three of these issues, and we need a system which is ready to respond for the sake of vulnerable children across the country.

"The government’s care review must also address the needs of those children who have left the care system via adoption and kinship care. We need to acknowledge that these children’s pasts are not simply erased by a court order.

"As we await the outcome of tomorrow’s spending review, there is growing anxiety surrounding the future of the Adoption Support Fund which is due to expire in July. We need the government to push this cliff edge back to 2022 while it explores more long-term reforms.”

You can watch the Children's Commissioner's full speech here.