Storing up trouble: a postcode lottery of children’s social care

Year: 2018
Topic: Child protection, Throughcare and aftercare
Author: All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children

In September 2017, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Children (APPGC) launched an inquiry into the causes and consequences of varying thresholds for children's social care in England.

This report, published by National Children's Bureau who provide the secretariat to APPGC, builds on the findings of the APPGC's first inquiry into the state of children's social care in England, No Good Options (March 2017), which shone a light on a system struggling to manage increasing and more complex demand in the context of dwindling resources.

The inquiry also heard that approaches to policy and practice varied across the country, with children, young people and families were receiving different levels of support and care.

The APPGC wanted to explore these findings further and find out the extent to which thresholds for accessing services vary across the country and whether thresholds are rising.

In other words, does where a child lives affect their chances of getting support, whatever their level of need, and is it getting generally harder for children and families to get help? The inquiry also sought to gather evidence on what underlies these patterns and trends, and what impact they are having on children and families.