Looked-after Children - Children, Schools and Families Committee Contents

5  Consistency and compliance in local authority practice

113. The Children's Rights Director, Dr Roger Morgan, told us that the major concern of children themselves about Care Matters is consistency of delivery: "one of the worrying things that children have said about many of the current initiatives is that they agree with many of them […] but they are sceptical about whether their experience will consistently reflect the intentions."[282] This scepticism is born of children's experience of the current system, and unfortunately reflects the picture that we have also received throughout this inquiry. Several witnesses emphasised that the legislative and policy frameworks in place for the care system are fundamentally sound.[283] However, variations in implementation, practice and policy between the 150 local authorities are so great that Maxine Wrigley, Chief Executive of A National Voice, remarked there are almost "150 care systems".[284] Even different teams and workers within the same authority can take very different approaches.[285] Examples are offered throughout this report. Young people themselves told us that they think this variation is unfair; one asked us, "Why can't all boroughs be the same?"[286]

114. There is ample evidence that existing legislation, guidance and standards are far from universally adhered to.[287] Ofsted told us that one in ten children receive an inadequate quality of care because of variable implementation; nearly a quarter of local authorities are performing below the acceptable level with regard to timeliness of statutory reviews, for example.[288] A quarter of children in care report having no input into their care plans, and just under half say they do not feel their plans are being fully kept to.[289] The disrupted experience of many looked-after children reflects this failure to agree and implement plans; one child's assessment of his time in care was that "Changes in my life happen suddenly and without warning."[290]

115. Pauline Newman, Manchester City Council's Director of Children's Services, explained how some of the variation can be accounted for:

    It is easy at our level to send out messages that have become heavily misinterpreted by the time that they get to the front service delivery point. It is our job to make sure that they are bolstered by sensible guidance at each level.[291]

Witnesses differed on how they felt inconsistency in practice could be addressed, and in fact whether it was necessary to do so; Kevin Williams of TACT argued that most local variations are in response to differences in need.[292] Robert Tapsfield of the Fostering Network pointed out that the inspection regime and the adoption of National Minimum Standards for care providers have enforced a degree of standardisation in the quality of care, while admitting that "that is not to say that it is working in all places at all times".[293] Cllr Les Lawrence, Chair of the Local Government Association's Children & Young People's Board, told us that it would be helpful for the Government to set a "floor target", a statement of the minimum expectations of the services local authorities should be providing for children in care.[294] Caroline Abrahams, the LGA's Programme Director for Children & Young People, agreed that this might be useful, but warned that change cannot always be mandated from the centre: "the strong preference expressed by staff in children's services, particularly Directors of Children's Services and senior managers, is that they should learn from one another."[295] However, Professor Julian Le Grand argued that "In every public service, good practice is going on in one or two places, but it is never adopted more widely. […] The question that must be put to those who believe that such work can be done by local authorities is why they have not done it already."[296]

116. It has in some ways been difficult for us to reach general conclusions about the care system. We have met dedicated, caring, professional foster carers, residential workers and social workers, and heard about the difference they can make to young people's lives. We have also heard from young people about how badly they can be let down when the adults in their lives do not seem to be dedicated, caring or professional. We have heard about excellent leaving care support, and education initiatives that have helped children achieve and feel valued. We have also seen statistics about the high proportion of young people who end up in unsafe accommodation when they leave care, or whose educational progress has been held back by low expectations. The quality of experience that children have in care seems to be governed by luck to an utterly unacceptable degree. When implementing the Care Matters reforms, we urge the Government to place the highest priority on ensuring that every child gets everything they are entitled to.

Size of the care population, and decisions about entry to care

117. Local variation is seen at perhaps its most extreme in the vastly differing sizes of the care population in different local authorities. In 2008, 20 out of every 10,000 children in Wokingham were in care; in Manchester, it was 151 out of every 10,000 children.[297] The numbers of children in care are influenced by many different factors and policies.[298] Professor Ian Sinclair told us that local authorities

    […]behave in very different ways, and that is particularly so in relation to the decisions that they can take. Some will send a high proportion of children and young people home very quickly after they have arrived, some will be much more likely to keep them on, some will put many more in residential care than others and some will get more adopted. On all those decisions, they seem to have varying policies, and you get big differences [in the characteristics and movement of the care population] that cannot be explained by differences in the kinds of children that authorities have.[299]

Steve Goodman of the London Borough of Hackney explained that, while he believed all children's services departments set out with the aim of keeping children with their families, "there is a value system, which actually might not be clearly stated, but which is built up in a culture in each authority, and which again might lead to different numbers."[300] It is not only current policies that influence the numbers of children in care; decisions taken even two decades ago about investment in family support, or in residential care, for example, will still be having an effect on young people in the care system today.[301] Managing exits from care is possibly an even greater influence on the size of the care population than managing entries.

118. In the Care Matters Green Paper, the Government stated its belief that the desirable outcome of changes in policy would be a smaller and younger care population.[302] Analysis by a Care Matters working group influenced a change of approach—which we welcome—and the Government set aside any notion of an "ideal" number of children in care in the White Paper.[303] Instead a commitment has been made to work with Government Offices in the regions to look at "the reasons behind differential rates of care, and the decision-making mechanism for identifying whether a child meets the criteria for care or accommodation."[304] Witnesses agreed unanimously that it would be misguided to adopt a target size for the care population.[305] While supporting children to remain safely with their parents would always be the preferred course of action, there is equally no question that the circumstances of some children will not permit this. Roger Morgan summed up the views of children on the subject: "Make the right decision for me, at the right time for me, and don't leave me in danger"; if the right decision is made for each child, "you will end up with the number in care that you end up with".[306]

119. Making the right decision at the right time for each individual child is at the heart of child protection practice. Martin Narey, Chief Executive of Barnardo's and Chair of the "Future of the Care Population" Care Matters working group,[307] told us how, during the working group's deliberations,

    I was struck by the number of professionals who told me that if the system moved more quickly and if we intervened earlier, some children would be taken into care at a much earlier age and might be adopted and have their long-term future guaranteed, but that the system was cautious and slow, so often by the time the in-care decision was made the adoption route, for example, was pretty much closed.[308]

Although Martin Narey offered no personal opinion on this, he reported

    […]the contention that braver decisions made earlier in a child's life might have led to a much better outcome for that child. Many social workers said to me that it was very clear to them that some children were bound not to succeed in the family home and that the system, with the best of intent, tried to hang on for rather too long to the prospect of making a success of the child staying with the family.[309]

Caroline Abrahams of the LGA agreed that "snappier decisions, safely and appropriately taken" could help improve long-term outcomes, by ensuring that children have a better chance to achieve long-term stability in care.[310]

120. In the light of evidence about the profound consequences of neglect on children's development it is worrying that Judith Masson, Professor of Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Bristol, told us that families which exhibit chronic neglect "do not get triggered into the legal system at an early stage, and when they eventually do, they spend quite a long time in the system before people realise that the parents cannot do any better."[311] Professor Masson observed that

    […]there is a kind of rule of optimism. Many people in the system have low expectations and take the view that taking children into care is so draconian an intervention that merely neglecting children is insufficient to justify […] taking children away.[312]

Colin Green, ADCS safeguarding spokesperson, told us that "The judiciary sees removal of a child as a truly draconian step […] Doing otherwise would require sanctioning a shift in what society is able to tolerate."[313]

121. Parents' campaigning groups, however, expressed the view that care orders are in fact used too readily by risk-averse children's services.[314] In response, a number of witnesses emphasised that, while there may be a small number of individual cases in which the conduct of the professionals or the judgments of the court could be questioned, in general the care proceedings system works well and we should not seek to raise further the threshold for entry to care.[315] David Holmes, Chief Executive of BAAF, told us:

    Social workers work within a framework where they have to evidence the assessments that they make. If they find themselves in the middle of a contested application for a court order, they will find themselves in court before a judge, justifying the assessments that they have made and the judgments that they have come to. This is not a system without checks and balances, and I think we do social workers a disservice if we forget that.[316]

122. We heard some evidence that concern about poor quality and outcomes in the care system itself may be effectively pushing up the thresholds for entry.[317] Colin Green told us that "You are balancing what may not be a very satisfactory standard of life at home with what can feel like quite a risky journey in care."[318] Chris Callender of the Howard League for Penal Reform told us, "I get a bit frustrated with the argument that the care system does not work so we should not bring kids into care. Is the answer to leave them on the streets? That cannot be the answer. It is to improve the care system."[319] Professor Jane Tunstill warned us that "it is awfully important not to see merely keeping children out of care as an achievement."[320] For many children, going into care will be a positive step, allowing them perhaps for the first time in their life to feel safe.[321] We are convinced that for some children, in some circumstances, care should be seen as the best available option rather than a last resort.

123. While some differences in care populations are inevitable, we are concerned by the huge variations in the rates of children in care across the country. Not only is this situation unfair on children and families, it seems to betray a lack of common understanding about the place of care in services for vulnerable children. The Government's commitment to investigate the causes of such variation is welcome, but a greater priority must be placed on reaching a national consensus on the rationale behind decision-making about entry to and exit from care.

124. We are pleased that the Government has set aside any notion of a 'target' number of children in care, but urge that there should instead be an unrelenting focus, through research, guidance and performance monitoring, on ensuring the quality and promptness of decision-making about individual children.

125. There has been some controversy over recent years about the effect of the Government's efforts to increase the use of adoption as a route out of care. Some campaigning groups representing parents argue that the expression of this aim in local authority targets, linked to financial reward, led to an increase in inappropriate care proceedings.[322] We put these concerns to Kim Bromley-Derry, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Children's Services. He told us that adoption targets were aimed at reducing delay in the system for children already in care who would benefit from adoption. Financial incentives were appropriate, David Holmes argued, because developing good adoption placement services is expensive, but Kim Bromley-Derry refuted any suggestion that such incentives distorted social workers' decision-making.[323] Caroline Little, Co-Chair of the Association of Lawyers for Children, agreed that she had "seen no evidence of such alleged behaviour in my practice", pointing out that evidence for care orders is tested in court and ruled upon by judges, making it very difficult for any child to be removed from its parents without justification.[324]

126. The process of taking children into care through court proceedings was revised by the introduction of the Public Law Outline (PLO) in April 2008. The PLO was developed to address weaknesses in the previous system, relating to case management, delay, family involvement in the process, and partnership working. Finding a placement for the child with an extended family member has been built into the process as a priority, and the new process requires more up-front preparation from local authorities before proceedings are issued.[325] Alongside the reform of the process, introduction of full-cost pricing for care proceedings from May 2008 means that local authorities must now pay up to £4,825 instead of £150 per case.[326] Funding for this was incorporated into councils' Revenue Support Grant settlement for 2008-09. It appears that there was a significant reduction in the issue of care proceedings immediately after the introduction of the Public Law Outline pilots—40% in London since September 2007.[327] We heard concern from several organisations that the increases in fee costs to local authorities may contribute to the issue of fewer care proceedings.[328]

127. Kim Bromley-Derry argued that there is no evidence that the changes in costs are affecting decision-making by social workers and social care managers. He pointed out that most local authorities had been able to build the extra costs into their financial planning, and that it is just as likely that the additional work that now has to be done prior to proceedings is causing a temporary backlog in the system.[329] Professor Judith Masson agreed that the introduction of a new process was likely to be of greater significance than the changes in fees. However, she also pointed out that grants allocated to local authorities to cover the fees are not ring-fenced, and have not taken into account the number of proceedings an authority has brought in the past. Furthermore, Professor Masson commented that:

    […]alongside the PLO are a whole series of messages from the Ministry of Justice and, to a lesser extent, from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, that they do not want too many proceedings to be brought. Part of this [funding] shift was intended to discourage local authorities from bringing care proceedings. I find it difficult to understand why we should charge local authorities for bringing care proceedings when we would not dream of charging the Crown Prosecution Service for prosecuting people.[330]

128. We recommend that the Government keep under close review the potential relationship between the transfer of care proceedings costs to local authorities and the number of care proceedings that are issued, with a view to reverting to the previous system if it can be shown that children in care are being left at risk as a result of the changes.


129. One of the most important variables in local authorities' ability to influence the care population is the proportion of funding which they dedicate to family support services for children outside the care system.[331] In 2005-6, spending on family support services compared to spending on looked-after children ranged from a ratio close to 1:2 in some authorities, to 1:10 in others.[332] The Care Matters White Paper set out the Government's intention to "refocus services in order to ensure that where it is in children's best interests, they are enabled and supported to live at home."[333] The Government acknowledged that this approach "needs to be a sophisticated one, with a range of services made available to support families as and when they need it."[334]

130. Hackney Council told us that they had made sustained investment in family support services with the deliberate aim of reducing their care population, and as a result their rate of care is considerably lower than their statistical comparators.[335] We visited the London Borough of Merton, whose partnership working with NCH on the Phoenix Project, providing intensive support for families at a crisis point, is specifically targeted at preventing unnecessary entry to care. The parents we met spoke enthusiastically about the purposeful, personalised service they received to help them through crises and keep their families together. The care population in Merton is proportionately one of the lowest in the country.

131. Parents' groups, however, voiced dissatisfaction with the availability of family support services.[336] The Children's Rights Director's survey of parents whose children had been taken into care revealed that 59% felt there had been no support to help stop their child going into care. Sometimes support was not of the sort needed, or came too late.[337] Varying thresholds, confused responsibilities and a failure of services to think about the whole family can make it difficult for parents to get the support they need.[338] Services may fail to take into account the "episodic" nature of many problems within families, assuming instead that a decisive difference can be made with one, limited-time intervention.[339] Crises rarely occur in office hours.[340] Lack of co-operation between adult and children's services means that the implications of a parent's difficulties for their children may go unrecognised.[341] Mary MacLeod, Chief Executive of the Family & Parenting Institute, told us that all these problems can contribute to a situation in which parents "get to a point where they have to do something desperate or be in a desperate state before they get noticed".[342] Colin Green, representing the ADCS, said that intervention has to be available across the spectrum of needs, with more services needed "in the bit in the middle between [universal services such as schools and children's centres] and the very high-threshold services characterised primarily as social care, in order to work with those families, who are quite resistant and need an assertive approach."[343]

132. It is clear that authorities which already have a large care population will face constraints in managing their budget to invest in preventative work with families.[344] Pauline Newman explained that Manchester City Council, which has the second highest proportion of children in care in the country, was assessing how to make their care placements as cost-effective as possible so that resources can be shifted to early intervention.[345] She pointed out that reducing the numbers of children with looked-after status has the effect of increasing the numbers of children with high needs who require protection plans and very intensive support within their families.[346] The relationship between investment in family support and the number of children entering care is not straightforward. The costs of the care system have increased while the care population has reduced over recent years, largely because the needs of those who do enter the system are greater and more complex.[347] It is impossible to predict with certainty that problems in society that contribute to the neglect and ill-treatment of children, such as domestic violence and substance misuse, will decrease, even with excellent family support provision.[348]

133. The Children Act 2004 integrated budgets for looked-after children with budgets for services for all children, so that every local authority must manage the balance of spending across all types of provision. While the intention of integrating budgets for children's services was laudable, we are concerned that one effect is that child protection, children in care and family support work are in competition for shares of the available resources. We are particularly concerned that those authorities which are managing a historically large care population will not be able to invest greater resources in family support without an unacceptable reduction in the quality of services for looked-after children. We recommend that the Government ensures that such services become universally available at agreed minimum levels.

Local authorities' accountability to children in care

Children in Care Councils and Pledges

134. Inconsistency in practice means that, all too often, "young people say that they do not know what care they are supposed to get and that they cannot work it out."[349] The Care Matters White Paper contained a proposal that could help to remedy this: an expectation that every council will develop a "Pledge" for the children in their care, which will set out the services and support children can expect to receive from their authority.[350] Each local authority will also be expected to set up a "Children in Care Council" to give children opportunities to put their views directly to Lead Members and Directors of Children's Services.[351] The idea of Pledges and Children in Care Councils was enthusiastically welcomed by our witnesses, at least in theory.[352] We welcome the introduction of Children in Care Pledges and Councils, and we hope that they will better enable children to hold local authorities to account for the disparities in the care they provide and to challenge poor practice.

135. There remain many concerns—not least among young people—about how these measures will be implemented, and the weight that they will carry.[353] John Hill, National Manager of the What Makes The Difference? Project, told us that Pledges need to be "detailed enough to empower children and allow them to know what care they are supposed to get."[354] However, the types of statement which the Government proposes for Pledges appear to have become less specific and ambitious between the Green and White Papers. The Green Paper suggested that a local authority could pledge "24/7" support from a social worker or out-of-hours contact; an independent advocate for each child in care; and a minimum entitlement to sport and leisure activities. In the White Paper, these suggestions were watered down to "clear arrangements in place for the child in care to contact his/her social worker"; "access to advocacy services if children have a complaint"; and "details of support available to participate in positive leisure time activities".[355] These changes have been confusing and disappointing for organisations representing children in care.[356]

136. The Children in Care Councils will need to embody the very best practice in children's participation work. Local authorities must not fall into the trap of only consulting the most articulate and forthcoming young people, nor only those who are easy to get hold of because they are living in residential homes.[357] Very young children, and children with disabilities (especially communication difficulties) may find it hard to express their views or participate in Councils. We were reminded that consultation with young people is pointless—and can in fact be counterproductive—if it is not acted upon.[358] Maxine Wrigley emphasised that young people would like Children in Care Councils to be backed by legislation rather than guidance, to ensure that they "have real teeth".[359] The Local Government Association emphasised that Councils and Pledges should not be seen as ends in themselves, but rather as a means to better outcomes and happier, healthier children.[360]

137. The Government must spell out how local authorities will be held accountable for robust development of their Children in Care Councils and Pledges, and the impact these measures have on improving practice. It is not clear at present what the consequences will be for a corporate parent that fails to keep its promises to children, nor what action a child will be able to take if those promises are broken. Pledges must be detailed enough to be meaningful to young people, and we urge the Government to encourage local authorities to show ambition in their undertakings.

138. Positive though these developments are, there is a danger that they are seen as a panacea for consulting and involving children; other avenues for children's participation must not be neglected.[361] On a national level, for example, we look forward to seeing how the revised National Minimum Standards (anticipated in 2009) are affected by the Children's Rights Director's consultation on the subject.[362] We have heard about how inspection processes can be transformed by the involvement of young people who are or have been in care.[363] It is also vital that children in care are fully involved in all the mainstream channels of engagement used by national and local agencies, and can benefit from local authority children's rights services.[364] Councils and Pledges must not become the sole means of consulting with or involving children in policy and services. Local authorities should also be judged on the quality of their mainstream children's participation and children's rights work, and how effectively they involve looked-after children in it.


139. Roger Morgan reported that children felt Care Matters had not paid enough attention to "the issue of what you do […] if you disagree with your care authority about what it is doing or you do not feel that it is fulfilling your care plan".[365] The Howard League for Penal Reform contrasted the accountability of birth parents and corporate parents for the care they provide:

    The law provides for an obvious remedy where a parent fails to care for a child properly, in the parenting order. Yet there is limited recourse in the case of a corporate parent who is failing and no obvious channel of complaint for a child who feels neglected […] Independent Reviewing Officers and child advocates do not have investigative powers anything like akin to the powers of social services to investigate the home life of a child in the community. Neither the Children Act 1989 complaint process nor the office of the local government ombudsman appears to be particularly child-friendly.[366]

The joint chief inspectors reported in 2008 that complaints procedures are not promoted or managed well by all local authorities, and uptake of advocacy arrangements is limited. In general, "some children feel that it is hard to influence decisions once they have been made by someone in authority."[367]

140. Independent Reviewing Officers (IROs) are social workers who chair statutory review meetings for children in care. They are independent of the management of the case being reviewed, but are often employed by the same local authority. The Children and Young Persons Act 2008 expanded the IRO's monitoring function to the local authority's performance of all of its care functions, and introduced a requirement for the IRO to ensure that the local authority gives due consideration to the child's views.[368] The Act also allowed for the establishment of an independent national body to accredit, appoint and manage IROs, a power which the Government has stated will only be used if the other reforms fail to improve care planning, stability, and responsiveness to the child's views.[369]

141. A survey by A National Voice showed that about one-fifth of children in care do not understand the role of the IRO, and that young people believe that they cannot be considered as truly independent because they are employed by the local authority. Young people are also concerned that, as the impartial chair of a review, an IRO is not in a position to speak up purely on a child's behalf.[370] These concerns are shared by Barnardo's.[371] Cllr Les Lawrence, representing the LGA, assured us that local authorities are doing their utmost to uphold the independence of IROs, but also warned that "sometimes the degree of challenge [by IROs] is not always readily accepted" by local authorities.[372]

142. We heard support from several quarters for greater provision of advocacy services for children in care, as well as criticism that the Government has failed, in legislation and in Care Matters, to grasp the importance and distinctiveness of the independent advocate's role.[373] Barnardo's explained the role of an advocate as:

    […]to ensure that [children's] views are taken seriously as required in law. A professional independent advocate makes sure that children understand what is happening to them, helps them to navigate the system and supports them to understand their rights and ensure that they are met […] The expression of the child's views in the decision-making process by an Independent Reviewing Officer who is responsible for facilitating its outcomes is quite distinct from the representation of those views by an advocate who is independent of that process.[374]

Maxine Wrigley referred to independent advocacy as "the biggest gap" in the Children and Young Persons Act.[375] The Adoption and Children Act 2002 placed a duty on local authorities to make provision for advocacy services for looked-after children who wish to make a complaint.[376] Roger Morgan told us that children have made the case for a right to advocacy in any process when they have a statutory right to participate or give their views, such as statutory reviews.[377] Barnardo's called for a statutory requirement for the Independent Reviewing Officer to consider whether a child needs an independent advocate to represent their views in the care review process.[378]

143. In our Report on the Children and Young Persons Bill we recommended that if the reforms of Independent Reviewing Officers' functions did not produce improvements, the Government should look again at the case for replacing the role with that of an advocate.[379] We are persuaded by the evidence received for this inquiry that these two distinct roles of Independent Reviewing Officer and independent advocate should in fact co-exist, and that the degree of inconsistency in the way local authorities are discharging their care duties makes it even more important that children have every possible opportunity to make their views count. Advocacy services should be routinely available for all looked-after children whenever decisions about their care are being made, not just when they wish to make a complaint.

144. Under section 53 of the Children Act 2004, local authorities have a duty to ascertain children's wishes and feelings and give due consideration to them when decisions are being made about a child's care. Maxine Wrigley and Pam Hibbert (Assistant Director-Policy at Barnardo's) strongly supported the idea of requiring that the child's views also be formally recorded; they both reported young people complaining that things they had said were never written down, so there could be no monitoring of how their views were taken into account.[380] We recommend that the duty on local authorities to ascertain and give consideration to children's views when decisions about their care are made should be strengthened by a requirement for Independent Reviewing Officers to record those views when care plans are reviewed.

282   Q 4 Back

283   Q 278 [Martin Hazlehurst] Back

284   Q 32 Back

285   Q 34 [Dr Morgan] Back

286   Annex Back

287   Ev 314, 315, 317 [Ofsted] Back

288   Ev 312, 315 Back

289   Q 8 [Dr Morgan] Back

290   Q 38 [Dr Morgan] Back

291   Q 466 Back

292   Q 128 Back

293   Q 126 Back

294   Q 454 Back

295   Q 491 Back

296   Q 221 Back

297   DCSF, Statistical First Release 23, September 2008 Back

298   Martin Narey, Beyond Care Matters: future of the care population working group report (DfES 2007), para 15; I. Sinclair, C. Baker, J. Lee, I. Gibbs, The Pursuit of Permanence: a study of the English child care system (London 2007), p 112 Back

299   Q 124 Back

300   Q 475 Back

301   Qq 400-1 [David Holmes] Back

302   Care Matters Green Paper, para 2.44 Back

303   Q 28 ff. [Martin Narey]; Care Matters White Paper, para 2.3 ff. Back

304   DCSF, Implementation of the Care Matters White Paper: detailed action log, March 2008 Back

305   Q 31 [Martin Narey]; Q 32 [Maxine Wrigley]; Q 476 [Caroline Abrahams]; Q 459 [Marion Davis] Back

306   Q 34 Back

307   One of four working groups set up by the Government to explore in greater depth some of the specific proposals made in the Care Matters Green Paper. Back

308   Q 28 Back

309   Q 30 Back

310   Q 476 Back

311   Q 609 [Dr Proops]; Q 608 [Professor Masson] Back

312   Q 609 Back

313   Q 615 Back

314   Ev 202 [PAIN]; Q 382 [Jean Robinson] Back

315   Q 400 [Kim Bromley-Derry, Caroline Little]; Q 409 [Mick Lowe, Kim Bromley-Derry] Back

316   Q 409 Back

317   Q 613 [Professor Masson] Back

318   Q 605 Back

319   Q 361 Back

320   Q 107 Back

321   Q 10 [Pam Hibbert] Back

322   Qq 380, 383 [Jean Robinson]; Q 386 [Trevor Jones] Back

323   Qq 409, 441 [Kim Bromley-Derry]; Q 442 [David Holmes] Back

324   Q 442 Back

325   Q 402 [Caroline Little, Kim Bromley-Derry] Back

326   Family Proceedings Fees Order, SI 2008 No. 1054  Back

327   Q 403 [Caroline Little]; figure reported at June 2008 Back

328   Ev 164 [Howard League for Penal Reform]; Q 403 [Caroline Little]; Q 411 [David Holmes]; Q 663 [Henrietta Heawood] Back

329   Qq 402-3 Back

330   Q 663 Back

331   The term 'family support' embraces many types of services from irregular monitoring through to highly structured parent training programmes. It can include peer support, befriending schemes, or therapeutic services. In general, these services focus as much or more on the needs of the parents as of the children, attempt to address a family's whole situation rather than one problem in isolation, and aim to prevent difficulties escalating any further. Family support at different levels can be delivered by a range of agencies including health and schools, and are often delivered by the voluntary sector. Back

332   Beyond Care Matters, para 39 Back

333   Care Matters White Paper, p 30 Back

334   Ibid., para 2.2 Back

335   Ev 233; Q 459 [Steve Goodman] Back

336   Ev 202 [PAIN]; Q 380 [Jean Robinson]; Q 382 [Trevor Jones]; Ev 313 [Ofsted] Back

337   Ofsted, Parents on council care: a report on parents' views by the Children's Rights Director for England (June 2008), p7 Back

338   Qq 88-9 [Mary MacLeod, Margaret Dillon, Anne Scarborough]; Ev 28 [FPI] Back

339   Q 99 [Professor Tunstill] Back

340   Q 88 [Margaret Dillon] Back

341   Q 59 [Mary MacLeod] Back

342   Q 88 Back

343   Q 613 Back

344   Qq 60, 98 [Margaret Dillon] Back

345   DCSF, Statistical First Release 23¸ September 2008 Back

346   Q 459; see also Q 400 [David Holmes]. Back

347   Jennifer Beecham and Ian Sinclair, Costs and outcomes in children's social care: messages from research (London 2007), p 66 Back

348   Thoburn, Children in public out-of-home care, p5  Back

349   Q 282 [John Hill] Back

350   Care Matters White Paper, para 1.25 Back

351   Ibid., box 1.2 Back

352   Ev 142 [Foyer Federation]; Q 483 [Marion Davis] Back

353   Ev 146 [Rainer] Back

354   Q 282; The What Makes The Difference? Project is a partnership of 60 organisations working to identify ways to improve poor outcomes for older children in and leaving care. In April 2008 it merged with the National Leaving Care Advisory Service in the National Care Advisory Service, hosted by children's charity Rainer, which is now known as Catch22 following a merger with Crime Concern. Back

355   Care Matters Green Paper, para 1.6; Care Matters White Paper, p23 Back

356   Q 16 [Maxine Wrigley] Back

357   Qq 22, 53 [Dr Morgan]; Ev 313 [Ofsted] Back

358   Q 55 [Pam Hibbert]; Q 483 [Pauline Newman] Back

359   Q 55 Back

360   Ev 231 Back

361   Qq 490-1 [Pauline Newman, Steve Goodman] Back

362   Ofsted, Children on care standards (December 2007) Back

363   Q 22 Back

364   Q 54 [Pam Hibbert]; Q 482 [Pauline Newman] Back

365   Q 14 Back

366   Ev 165 Back

367   Safeguarding children: the joint chief inspectors' report on arrangements to safeguard children (July 2008), para 130 Back

368   Children and Young Persons Act 2008, Section 10 Back

369   Children, Schools and Families Committee, First Report of Session 2007-08, Children and Young Persons Bill [Lords], HC 359, Q 36 Back

370   Q 40 [Maxine Wrigley, Pam Hibbert] Back

371   Ev 2 Back

372   Q 457 Back

373   Q 41 [Dr Morgan]; Qq 7, 40 [Maxine Wrigley]; Q 40 [Pam Hibbert]; Q 447 [Caroline Little] Back

374   Ev 2 Back

375   Q 7 Back

376   Adoption and Children Act 2002, Section 119 Back

377   Q 41 Back

378   Ev 2 Back

379   Children, Schools and Families Committee, First Report of Session 2007-08, Children and Young Persons Bill [Lords], HC 359, para 31 Back

380   Q 55 Back

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