Children’s Social Care view response delayed until 2023

The Department of Education’s ‘ambitious and detailed’ response to the review of Children’s Social care will come next year, despite pledging targets for the end of 2022.

Published in May 2022, the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care made some suggestions to better the sector for children, staff and families. Some amendments to the sector included providing national pay scales and an alternative career path into management to boost retention.

three children holding hands standing on grasses

The review claimed the social work sector should introduce a five-year early career framework, with workers assessed on their knowledge and skills after year two and five and rules to reduce overusing agency staff.

However, the government’s response has now been postponed as Claire Coutinho, the Children’s Minister, said it would come ‘early in the new year’ in a House of Commons debate, adding it is still a ‘huge priority’.

Instead, the Children’s Minister has said the government will be responding to the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel’s inquiries into the deaths of Arthur Labinjo-Hughes and Star Hobson, which was produced in Spring 2022.

Six-year-old Arthur was killed in June 2020 by his stepmother and Star Hobson, who was 16 months old, was murdered in September in 2020 by her mother’s partner.

These two deaths prompted the need for child protection practices to be handed over to specialist multi-agency teams, according to inquiries.

Professionals in Bradford that were involved with Star’s case were found to have dismissed her situation as the review discovered they had limited understanding of what life was like for her and did not listen to wider family members.

The Child Minister has added she wishes to ensure services intervene as quick as possible when children are seen to be at risk.

However, there have been no indications on how the government will respond beyond saying it will use reports’ recommendations to support councils, police and health in delivering their statutory safeguarding duties. 

Although the government have recognised work needs to be done in the children’s care sector as Ms Coutinho said, ‘the message from these reports and from many excellent contributions made today is clear: the system is not delivering well enough, or consistently, for children and families it supports.’

Photo by Markus Spiske


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