13 June 2018

Care Crisis Review reports

A Nuffield Foundation funded review has confirmed that there is a crisis in the Children's Social Care and Family Justice Sector in England and Wales and sets out 20 options for change.

Published today (13 June 2018), the Care Crisis Review considers how to address the 'care crisis', and explores the factors which have contributed to the number of children in care reaching the highest level since the Children Act 1989 was enacted with care order applications reaching record levels in 2017.

The Review has brought together a 'coalition of the willing' from across the child welfare and family justice sectors in England and Wales. It was a response to the President of the Family Division of the High Court, Sir James Munby’s call to action in 2016: “We are facing a crisis and, truth be told, we have no very clear strategy for meeting the crisis. What is to be done?”

Funded by the Nuffield Foundation and facilitated by Family Rights Group, a charity committed to enabling children to be raised safely, the Review comprised an inclusive listening exercise with over 2,000 people across England and Wales.

Although the Review identified a number of contributing factors to the crisis, it also found that the child welfare legislative framework is basically sound and there are some local authorities in England and Wales that are bucking the national trend.

Tim Gardam, Chief Executive of the Nuffield Foundation said: "Bringing people together from across the sector in this way has been invaluable in beginning to understand and address the 'care crisis'. This type of coordinated response across England and Wales allows us to understand how the increase in care order applications differs from region to region, and the localised responses deployed to address it. The proposals outlined in the report are a result of a collaborative process and offer some initial changes that could be made to improve outcomes for children and their families."