In February the government set out its plans for the future of children’s social care, alongside three separate consultations inviting views from the sector, children and families:

  1. The implementation strategy: ‘Stable Homes, Built on Love’ (invites views from children and families)
  2. Plans for a children’s social care national framework (invites views from children and families)
  3. Proposals for the child and family social worker workforce

The consultations close at 11.45PM on 11th May, 2023.

For those wishing to submit views on the proposals set out in the implementation plan consultation, there is also a guide for children and young people available here which may be helpful.

You do not need to answer all questions set out in the consultation document, only those you feel strongly about.

The government has divided the plans into six ambitions for children’s social care, as follows:


Pillar 1: Family Help provides the right support at the right time so that children can thrive with their families.

Adoption UK welcome proposals for targeted, early help delivered by multidisciplinary teams but urges government to ensure this is accessible for all families, including adoptive families should they require it, and join up with Regional Adoption Agency teams.

Pillar 2: A decisive multi-agency child protection system.

Adoption UK welcome steps to improve child protection arrangements and tackle court delays so that when a child cannot live safely with their family, they receive appropriate and timely decisions.

Pillar 3: Unlocking the potential of family networks.

Adoption UK supports proposals that help a child to remain within their family network where this is in the best interests of the child, whilst also acknowledging that this is not always possible and adoption continues to be the best option for some children who cannot live with their birth parents. Adoption UK also supports proposals for greater investment in kinship care, but urges government to avoid creating silos in the system where possible - we must see care experience as a continuum and not as separate sets of children.

Pillar 4: Putting love, relationships and a stable home at the heart of being a child in care.

Adoption UK welcomes proposals to improve the way the system plans, commissions and provides homes for children in care, including greater investment in foster care so that there are more foster care placements available for children who need them.

Adoption UK also supports plans for the creation of greater opportunities for children in care and care leavers to achieve their potential through education, employment and training, but would like to see this extended to include previously looked after children, including those who are adopted. Adoption UK also supports proposals to decrease mental health and physical disparities and increase life expectancy for children in care and care leavers. However, again we urge government to include all previously looked after children, including those who are adopted, in these proposals. Children who are adopted are more likely to have mental health needs than their non-adopted peers because of early trauma, neglect, and abuse.

Pillar 5: A valued, supported and highly-skilled social worker for every child who needs one.

Adoption UK welcomes plans to improve the career development of social workers, improve retention of the social worker workforce, tackle workload pressures and working conditions, reduce the use of agency social workers, and boost social worker recruitment. However, we would like those social workers working with adopted people and families to be trained in adoption so that they are properly equipped to advise on - and support - their specific needs. Adoption UK has concerns that without sufficient funding to match the plans, we will continue to see too many children and families let down by a lack of focused time with their social worker.

Pillar 6: A system that continuously learns and improves, and makes better use of evidence and data.

Adoption UK welcomes plans for a national framework and a system that enables improved accountability, inspection, funding and regulation.