Children’s Social Care Review in England

Together we can achieve change for children

The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care in England was announced by the Department for Education on Friday 15 January 2021. Hailed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform services and systems, the Review intends to be broad and bold and to examine the entirety of children’s social care services, thus extending to any child with a social worker, not just children in care.

Our vision is of a care system where children are thriving within homes that are havens and where every child always has a family by their side. Below is a timeline documenting some of our advocacy work seeking to achieve this vision through engaging with the review.


This month our team spent some time planning and strategizing for the term ahead. With this month marking six months of the Review, we spent time considering how we might continue to influence the Review’s thinking as they turn their attention to the solutions that might be developed in response to the challenges outlined in the Case for Change. You can read our submission to the Case for Change consultation here.

In addition, we spent time talking to supported lodgings providers about the needs of young people and the impact that strong relationships enabled through supported lodgings provision can have on a young person’s life.

August 2021


July 2021

This month, we began preparing our feedback submission to the Case for Change. We spent time listening to the experiences of care experienced adults about some of the themes outlined within the Case for Change which included the role of residential care, their experiences of stigma and the purpose and vision of the system as a whole. They provided some insightful perspectives on these aspects which shaped and underpinned our submission to the Review team.

We also made a submission to the Government’s consultation around the development of National Standards for independent and semi-independent settings for 16- and 17-year olds. Within this submission we highlighted the need for the Standards to go beyond setting a minimum bar and be aspirational, in order to ensure high-quality provision for young people. We also highlighted the value and strength of supported lodgings provision for this cohort, which is able to provide a family-based setting for young people, while enabling them to experience greater independence and autonomy.


June 2021

June saw the final of our APPG evidence sessions being held which took a focus on the realities of adoptive families who are in crisis or where a child has had to leave home prematurely. We have now begun the busy work of writing a report that summarises the findings of this inquiry which will be published in a few months’ time.

The Children’s Social Care Review also published their first report; ‘The Case for Change’ which set out the Review’s findings over the last three months and identifies some of the key challenges in the system that need addressing. We published our initial response to this 100-page report here and will be submitting a response to the accompanying consultation in due course.


May 2021

This month, our advocacy team convened a roundtable in partnership with St George’s House, Windsor Castle. The discussion was focused around how we might enable more children and young people to have a family or tribe to belong to for life. Together with a wide range of participants, including care-experienced individuals, foster and adoptive parents, agency leaders, Parliamentarians, Government officials and others, we considered three proposed solutions and how we might prevent children and young people facing a relational ‘care cliff’ at 16, 18 or 21 when they leave the care system. It was a rich and inspiring discussion, with so much shared determination to do better for every young person in care.

In addition, this month we held a further two oral evidence sessions as part of the APPG’s Inquiry into ‘Strengthening Families’. These two sessions considered the value of Early Permanence routes in enabling stability for children and the need to ensure that right from the beginning of the adoptive family being formed, that they can access the support they need.


April 2021

It was a busy month for our team! We co-launched a report with PricewaterhouseCoopers designed to shape the thinking of the Review by providing some economic analysis of the care system. The report considers the disparity between the high fiscal investment made and the reality that too many children and young people who enter the care system do not go on to flourish in life. It calls for a society-wide approach to ensuring that our vulnerable children can thrive and makes a number of recommendations as to what changes are needed to bring about better outcomes for children.

We made a submission to the Review’s Call for Evidence highlighting current gaps in research around the children’s social care system. We also made a submission to the Education Select Committee who are conducting an inquiry into Children’s Homes in England. Our brilliant care-experienced advisory group met for the fourth time.

Finally, the APPG for Adoption and Permanence (which Home for Good provides joint-secretariat for) launched a new inquiry this month into how stability can be ensured for children journeying from the care system into adoption and as part of an adoptive family. This inquiry will feed directly into the review.



March 2021

On 1 March, the review officially started and the first official document from the review was published, outlining the Chair’s ‘Early Thoughts’ about the direction of travel for the review and his priorities in taking the Terms of Reference forward.

We were delighted to see a specific section in the document outlining the review’s commitment to addressing racial disparities, in direct response to the Open Letter convened by Home for Good.

We met with the independent Chair of the Review, Josh MacAlister in early March to talk about how the review can go about tackling racial disparities and our shared ambition to see the care system equip children and young people with a family by their side beyond the age of 18.


February 2021

We received a letter from Gavin Williamson MP, which you can view here. We could not have done this without you and are so grateful - the strength of support behind the letter from across the country was inspiring!

We made a submission to the Call for Advice, following a consultation with our care-experienced advisory group highlighting some of the most important questions we think the review needs to consider.


January 2021

The Children’s Social Care Review was launched!

We published our initial response to the publication of the Terms of Reference and the announcement of the Chair, Josh MacAlister.

We wrote a letter to Josh welcoming him to his post and offering our support to ensure this review keeps children at the centre.

We established our care-experienced advisory group who will meet for the duration of the review.



December 2020

We posted our Open Letter to the Secretary of State for Education which received the support of over 1500 individuals, including an additional 70 churches who signed on behalf of their congregations, representing an additional 24,000 people.


November 2020

We launched our Open Letter calling on the Government to tackle racial disparity as part of the upcoming care review. With Black children overrepresented in the care system but underrepresented in adoption, we urged the Government to seize the upcoming once-in-a-generation opportunity to consider and address racial disparity existing right across the social care system. You can view the letter here.

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