Today’s news review focuses on the report from the National Audit Office (NAO) which assesses the quality of help and protection for children in England.
Today, 12 October, the NAO published a report entitled ‘Children in Need of Help and Protection’.
The report’s main criticism is that spending on social work and on child protection varies widely across England and is not directly linked to quality. Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office, comments that too many children's services are still not good enough.
Through the Children and Social Work Bill, we are strengthening protections for vulnerable children and improving support for looked after children. We are also taking tougher action to drive up standards, intervene with councils when they are not doing well enough and ensure all children have the help and protection they need.
A Department for Education spokesperson said:
“Children must be kept safe from harm and since 2010 we have been making ambitious changes to improve our child protection system. We are now taking tough action to drive up standards in children’s services across the country, stepping in when councils aren’t doing well enough and linking them up with better performing local authorities to share best practice.
“We have also cut red tape so that social workers can spend more time actually supporting families. But we are going further and introducing new laws to strengthen protection for the most vulnerable children and transforming the support available to them, as set out in plans we published this summer.”
For further information please see our latest policy paper Putting Children First, which sets out the government’s reform programme for children’s social care over the next five years.