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Care Crisis Review

Volume 643: debated on Monday 25 June 2018

4. If he will make an assessment of the potential merits of the recommendations for his Department in the Family Rights Group report, “Care Crisis Review: Options for Change”, published in June 2018; and what discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on that report. (906003)

The sector-led review is an important contribution to the family justice system. Across government we will consider its findings and recommendations carefully. My counterpart in the Ministry of Justice and I are due to meet the Family Rights Group to discuss the report in more detail.

Now that the Government have admitted that cuts to the national health service were a political choice, not an economic necessity, will they admit the same when it comes to local government, especially children’s social care? Will the Minister read the report from the directors of children’s services, take the action that is needed to end the crisis in children’s social care, and make the priority looking after our most vulnerable children, not tax cuts for the very wealthy?

There is some great work taking place in children’s social care across the country. Money, of course, is a consideration, but good leadership, and strong and confident teams are making a huge difference. Across government, as has been mentioned, we are spending £1.4 billion on the troubled families programme.

I am grateful for that question. We have two programmes: first, the What Works programme in children’s social care and, secondly, a £200 million innovation programme to look at what really works and then scale it up.

Does the Minister agree with the basic premise of the care crisis review that, if more money were spent on early intervention and family support, fewer children would go into care, and does he agree that that would be a good thing?

I thank my hon. Friend, who has been a great advocate of early intervention. She is absolutely right. On top of the £1.4 billion programme for troubled families, the Government are looking at reducing parental conflict. We know that many children in need have suffered from domestic abuse. The landmark Bill that we are bringing forward bears witness to our hard work across government to deliver this. However, she is absolutely right to say that early intervention is important and the Government take that very seriously.