Inadequate care system needs urgent reform
Published: 02.05.13The care system is failing too many children and families and requires rapid transformation according to the findings of eight leading charities including Adoption UK.
Improvements are needed in order to better provide children with permanence - security, stability, love and a strong sense of identity and belonging. There are several different routes to permanence with adoption being right for only a small number of looked after children the Care Inquiry concluded.
Stressing the need for high quality relationships so children in care can build secure attachments, the Inquiry recommended that the system needs to be more flexible to ensure that important relationships are not broken as children move placements. In addition, siblings should be placed together unless there is strong evidence that it would be detrimental. A child's heritage and identity should also be given more weighting when deciding between placements.
Further recommendations were made to involve children more in decisions about their life. Children and young people should be fully engaged in decisions about where, and with whom, they live and their views should be taken into account with the option to try out a placement before a final decision is made.
In an era of public sector cuts, changes to the benefit system and rising poverty, the increasing strain on families makes the need to tackle problems impeding the provision of high quality increasingly important.
The eight month inquiry into the care system gathered the views of a range of participants with direct experience of care or working in the care system.