The Guardian Social Care Network
19 May 2016
Children’s social care is about changing lives. It has the ability not just to improve the circumstances of vulnerable children but to transform them completely. That’s why as a government we’re determined that every child in the country, whatever their background, should have the opportunity to fulfil their potential. And children’s social care services have an essential role to play – whether that be by keeping children safe from harm, finding the best possible care when children cannot live at home, or creating the conditions that enable children to thrive and achieve.
Children who come into contact with the social care system have often had more to deal with in their short lives than many adults. I know from my own family’s experience – having grown up with 80 foster brothers and sisters, and two adopted brothers – the intrinsic value of secure, trusted relationships and the importance of having a stable family home. And that without the right support, too many children find themselves on the wrong track, denied the opportunity to become the person they could be.
So we are taking the next step to giving these children the chance of a better life, with the introduction of our children and social work bill. This builds on the foundations we have laid over the last six years. Over that time, we have changed the law so children in care can stay with their foster families after they turn 18; we have made radical strides in delivering a world-class adoption system; we have rolled out a £100m innovation programme to drive excellence in children’s social care practice, with a further £200m committed over the next four years; and we have supported the high-quality training and development of social workers through programmes like Frontline and Step Up – so we can raise the status and standard of this crucial profession.
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