The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care was announced in March 2021 and was been set up by the government to make sure children and young people in and leaving care get the support they need.
This was an important opportunity to shape social care (social workers, being in care, leaving care) in England.
As part of the review, we shared what we have learned from our Bright Spots work, which includes the views of over 15,000 care experienced children and young people who have taken part in our surveys. We also supported the review through our A National Voice network, to make sure the voices of more children and young people in care and leaving care are heard.
Our A National Voice Ambassadors (a group of 24 care experienced young people aged 16-25 from across England) developed a Coram Voice Care Review Participation Menu with workshops for young people to have their say on the area’s highlighted by the review team in their “The Case for Change” report, as well as any other key issues that young people want to talk about that were not included in “The Case for Change”.
We sent these resources for the workshops to Children in Care Councils across England, supporting them to run sessions locally to gather children and young people’s feedback on the review.
What did we find?
Over 300 children and young people from more than 30 local authorities responded. Our A National Voice Ambassadors then gathered together at a two day get together to view all the responses from across the county.
On the first day they read all the responses received and split into smaller groups to explore what was mentioned most frequently.
The group found several important themes emerging including:
- A post-code lottery
- Cliff edges
- Systems that don’t work for children and young people
- The importance of positive language
On the second day they prepared short presentations on the themes to share with members of the Independent Review Team.
A National Voice wrote a report which summarises what you told us and includes their presentations.
Read the full report
A National Voice (ANV) response to The Case for Change report published by the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care.
The report shares care experienced young people’s thoughts, feelings and hopes for the future. It is collected from 309 voices from across 31 local authorities with extensive geographical coverage across England. The respondents also represented a broad range in terms of age, gender, ethnicity and Special Educational Needs status.
What children and young people want to tell the independent care review.
We want to say a huge thank you to all the children and young people that have shared their thoughts, feelings and hopes for the future as well as the great staff who have supported them to participate and have their voices heard.
Final report and next steps
The Independent Review of Children’s Social Care published its final report in May 2022 and on the same day the Government announced that they would have a plan of how to improve children’s social care in place by the end of the year.
Following the launch of the final report, we invited our A National Voice Ambassadors and A National Voice Network (Children in Care Councils, Care Leaver Forums and participations groups) to express their views on the report recommendations and discuss the implications for the future.
A National Voice held an online event with Josh McAllister, Chair of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care, Judith Denton, Member of the Experts by Experience Board and Jo Petty, Engagement and Participation Team to share how the review listened to children and young people. Watch the presentation below.
ANV invited children in care councils and participation groups to join them in hearing how the voice of children and young people had influenced recommendations and ask any remaining questions to the Review Team. They also wanted to hear from children and young people what they liked about the recommendation, what they worried about and what they wondered about.
We also held separate sessions with ANV Ambassadors to explore the recommendations
Young people’s views on the Final report
We created a short summary of children and young people’s views on the report exploring what young people welcomed, worried and wondered about in the report.
Children and young people’s response to the final report of the Independent Review of Children’s Social Care
We held an online session with A National Voice Network and Ambassadors where we were joined by members of the Independent Care Review Team to answer questions and listen to views about the recommendations. We also held separate sessions with ANV Ambassadors to explore the recommendations. In total we consulted 78 children and young people aged 11-25.
We asked, what children and young people welcome, worry and wonder about the recommendations.
To find out what they said, take a look at their report.
Feedback from ANV Ambassadors to the ambitions and missions of the Government (Stable Homes Built on Love)
The Government held a consultation for setting out their vision for reform of children’s social care, Stable Homes, Built on Love.
They requested views on our proposed response to various recommendations, including:
- Support and protection for children and families
- Support for kinship carers, and wider family networks
- Reforms to the experience of being in care, including corporate parenting
- Support for the workforce
- Delivery and system reform
They also consulted separately on:
- a Children’s Social Care National Framework and Dashboard; and
- proposals for the child and family social worker workforce.
Our Ambassadors have participated in a range of activities to inform the Government strategy, including sessions with representatives from the Department for Education working on the strategy.
There’s so many things that need to change around the foster care system. It is so important that the government, the people who have the power to make a difference, take some time to listen to children and young people who have experienced being in the care system. To them, this is just a job, but this is our lives.
(Chloe, ANV Ambassador and Chair of ANV)
This paper summarises what two groups of ANV Ambassadors spoke about on two separate occasions, February and April 2023, about Stable Homes, Built on Love.
(A summary of these views were included in Coram Voice response to the consultation)