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Children’s Social Care

Volume 710: debated on Monday 14 March 2022

We launched the independent review of children’s social care in March 2021. It is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reform children’s social care services and systems. We will see the review’s final recommendations this spring and I look forward to responding in due course.

We know that the first 1,001 days of a child’s life are the most influential on their health, wellbeing and opportunities throughout the rest of their lives. This is even more important in towns such as Blackpool, where health outcomes and educational attainment are already low. Can my hon. Friend confirm that the £300 million funding for the new Start for Life offer will help to address these outcomes for children and families in my constituency?

My hon. Friend is absolutely right. Our family hubs programme is being developed in 75 local authorities, over and above the 12 in which the programme is already being rolled out, bringing together services for children of all ages and responding to the needs of the whole family. At its core is the Start for Life offer, which includes support for perinatal mental health and breastfeeding, as well parenting programmes. On top of that, there is the £200 million expansion to the Supporting Families programme. I understand that the Secretary of State is visiting my hon. Friend’s constituency in the coming weeks.