Gateshead Council calls on central government to better fund social services for children
Gateshead Council has called on the central government to fund child welfare ‘adequately’ following the publication of the Independent Child Welfare Review looking at the situation nationwide.
The exam was created in January 2021 and chaired by Josh MacAlister, founder of social work charity Frontline. Mr. MacAlister was assisted by senior civil servant Shazia Hussian, who led the review team.
The report stated: “Without a sweeping system-wide reset, outcomes for children and families will remain stubbornly poor and by the next decade there will be nearly 100,000 children in care (compared to 80,000 today). hui) and a faulty system will cost more than £15 billion. one year.
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“Together, the changes we recommend will alter these current trends and mean 30,000 more children living safely and thriving with their families by 2032 than on the current trajectory.”
The report recommends a government investment of £2billion in family support and an effort to de-stigmatise families who seek or need help. The report also recommends that more resources be allocated to kinship care, whereby children and young people are cared for by the extended family.
He says social services engagement with parents must be “compassionate and respectful”. Several parents were quoted in the report describing their negative experiences with social services and the lack of services available to them.
One parent interviewed said, “Don’t make assumptions, twist words, don’t make amateur psychiatric diagnoses, give opinions by any means, but respect what’s done and what isn’t.
Councilor Gary Haley, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People at Gateshead Council, said: ‘We welcome the report’s recommendations, some of which we have already started to implement in Gateshead, including advocating the importance of our host community.
“Our recent Foster Care Fortnight campaign raised awareness of foster care while celebrating our community of foster families, social workers and extended families. We are thrilled to see more people across the borough are interested in becoming foster families and continue to encourage anyone interested in becoming a foster family to contact us.
“However, recruiting foster parents is just one of the ways our Children’s Services work hard to ensure that all children and young people in Gateshead lead happy and fulfilling lives. The cost of living crisis is likely to have a huge impact on our most vulnerable families, which is why it is so important to expand our family care team, prioritize early help and place social workers in six of our secondary schools.
“We also continue to work on innovative ways to bring more people into the service, such as partnering with local education providers to offer learning roles while earning through our Social Work Academy. The scheme, which enrolled its first cohort in 2020, has been a great success so far as we have been able to employ and retain 26 social workers to support families in Gateshead.
“While these solutions are having a positive impact, the service still faces the challenges posed by overstretched resources. We support the report’s call for more investment in early support for families which, given the way council budgets have become stretched, we believe should be the government’s top priority to address and adequately funded.
Cllr Steven Phillips, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Learning at North Tyneside Council, said: ‘We want our borough to be the best place for children and families to live, grow and thrive and , in recent years, North Tyneside Children’s Services and Youth Justice Services have been rated exceptional by Ofsted.
“Our service covers everything from foster care to providing special educational needs, and we have a solid plan in place to ensure that these services are provided to the highest standard possible, both with resources and funding.
“We are always looking to recruit more host families to the borough and through our successful promotional tours, we hope to continue to encourage more residents to open their homes to young people.
“As we look to the future, we want North Tyneside to continue to be a safe, happy and healthy place to grow up. The current cost of living crisis is having a real impact on our families and our young people and our teams are mobilized on a daily basis to provide support, signage and other essential provisions to support our residents.
“We will continue to work closely with Borough organizations to ensure that every young person has opportunities and a voice.”
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